Today I pass the time reading
a favorite haiku,
saying the few words over and over.
It feels like eating
the same small, perfect grape
again and again.
I walk through the house reciting it
and leave its letters falling
through the air of every room.
I stand by the big silence of the piano and say it.
I say it in front of a painting of the sea.
I tap out its rhythm on an empty shelf.
I listen to myself saying it,
then I say it without listening,
then I hear it without saying it.
And when the dog looks up at me,
I kneel down on the floor
and whisper it into each of his long white ears.
It's the one about the one-ton temple bell
with the moth sleeping on its surface,
and every time I say it, I feel the excruciating
pressure of the moth
on the surface of the iron bell.
When I say it at the window,
the bell is the world
and I am the moth resting there.
When I say it at the mirror,
I am the heavy bell
and the moth is life with its papery wings.
And later, when I say it to you in the dark,
you are the bell,
and I am the tongue of the bell, ringing you,
and the moth has flown
from its line
and moves like a hinge in the air above our bed.
Billy Collins's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Japan by Billy Collins )
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
- Heather Burns
Sheldon Allan Silverstein
(September 25, 1930 – May 10, 1999)
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(3 June 1926 – 5 April 1997)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- A Smile To Remember, Charles Bukowski
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Sonnet XVII, Pablo Neruda
- Christmas Trees, Robert Frost
Poem of the Day
- Your Day, abdulrazak aralimatti
- The Deeds of the Devil, Swetashree Sahoo
- Without Spending Money, He Is A Net Poet.., Bijay Kant Dubey
- Destruction, Aftab Alam
- You know everything - public good, gajanan mishra
- DEATH PERMANENT! *, Subbaraman N V
- When Angry, Leong Ming Loong
- Truth and conscience, gajanan mishra
- Win the self, gajanan mishra
- (6) जिख्लाबसे लाइजाम: 'रैसुमै'नो, Ronjoy Brahma