(Host) Former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins is described as writing about ordinary things in a way that gives humor and surprise to the reader.
Friday afternoon at Saint Michael’s College, Collins said he would like his writing to help readers think differently about poetry:
(Collins) “I hope they would take away that poetry doesn’t have to be dead serious, that it doesn’t have to give you a headache. Basically that poetry can be light and uplifting, as well as touching on deeper veins. There’s too much poetry based on psychic misery.”
(Host) Collins read his poetry to an audience of several hundred in the college chapel. Here’s an excerpt from his new poem, “Monday.”
“The birds are in the trees, the toast is in the toaster and the poets are at their windows;
The poets are at their windows in every section of the tangerine earth – the Chinese poets looking up at the moon and the American poets gazing out a the pink blue ribbons of sunrise;
The clerks are at their desks, the miners are down in their mines and the poets are looking out their windows maybe with a cigarette or a cup of tea and maybe a flannel shirt or a bathrobe is involved;
The proof readers are playing the ping-pong game of proof reading, glancing back and forth from page to page, the chefs are dicing celery and potatoes and poets are their windows because it is their job, for which they are paid nothing every Friday afternoon.” (Laughter)
(Host) Former U.S. poet laureate, Billy Collins.