A Tidbit

I know, I know, I KNOW.  Bloggers who rarely blog are very annoying. But I have this damned book to finish and I’m horrendously behind. So I thought I’d throw you a tidbit, just to keep you going until I have something more articulate to say than ‘aaaagggghhh.’

I read this poem yesterday and the last few lines fairly made me yelp with joy. I never saw it coming.

It’s by Billy Collins, sometime US Poet Laureate, and goes as follows:


So much gloom and doubt in our poetry-
flowers wilting on the table,
the self regarding itself in a watery mirror.

Dead leaves cover the ground,
the wind moans in the chimney,
and the tendrils of the yew tree inch toward the coffin.

I wonder what the ancient Chinese poets
would make of all this,
these shadows and empty cupboards?

Today, with the sun blazing in the trees,
my thoughts turn to the great
tenth-century celebrator of experience,
Wa-Hoo, whose delight in the smallest things

could hardly be restrained,
and to his joyous counterpart in the western provinces,

See? I do think of you, sitting there, chewing your nails, reading back issues of Radio Times until there’s a new Laurie Graham novel for you to wolf down.


  1. Helen Atkin on June 2, 2016 at 2:22 pm


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