Imagine Poems - Poems For Imagine

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Candle Hat - Poem by Billy Collins

In most self-portraits it is the face that dominates:
Cezanne is a pair of eyes swimming in brushstrokes,
Van Gogh stares out of a halo of swirling darkness,
Rembrant looks relieved as if he were taking a breather
from painting The Blinding of Sampson.

But in this one Goya stands well back from the mirror
and is seen posed in the clutter of his studio
addressing a canvas tilted back on a tall easel.

He appears to be smiling out at us as if he knew
we would be amused by the extraordinary hat on his head
which is fitted around the brim with candle holders,
a device that allowed him to work into the night.

You can only wonder what it would be like
to be wearing such a chandelier on your head
as if you were a walking dining room or concert hall.

But once you see this hat there is no need to read
any biography of Goya or to memorize his dates.

To understand Goya you only have to imagine him
lighting the candles one by one, then placing
the hat on his head, ready for a night of work.

Imagine him surprising his wife with his new invention,
the laughing like a birthday cake when she saw the glow.

Imagine him flickering through the rooms of his house
with all the shadows flying across the walls.

Imagine a lost traveler knocking on his door
one dark night in the hill country of Spain.
"Come in, " he would say, "I was just painting myself,"
as he stood in the doorway holding up the wand of a brush,
illuminated in the blaze of his famous candle hat.


Comments about Candle Hat by Billy Collins

  • Gold Star - 44,930 Points Susan Williams (12/19/2015 10:51:00 PM)

    Isn't it fun to treat famous creative people like they're just another human being only running amuk with talent and ingenuity! (Report) Reply

    9 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Rookie Eiz Qarqash (6/3/2012 5:53:00 AM)

    This poem is second to none. It's the first poem I read for Mr. Collins and it's the best poem ever. As I read it, I'd just start wondering where Mr. Collins got all that creativity from. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Luke Johnson (12/15/2009 7:50:00 PM)

    Collins reminds me of Walter Matheau. His dry humor is insatiable. (Report) Reply

Read all 6 comments »

Poems About Imagine

  1. 1. Candle Hat , Billy Collins
  2. 2. Do You? , unknown poet
  3. 3. Thurso’s Landing , Robinson Jeffers
  4. 4. An Explanation Of America: A Love Of Death , Robert Pinsky
  5. 5. Imagine Lucifer , Jack Spicer
  6. 6. And Time The Green Unfurling Ferns Frond , Mark Heathcote
  7. 7. I Am Hopelessly Hoping For You Sweetie , Nyota Yasulwe
  8. 8. ! Imagine Angels , Michael Shepherd
  9. 9. Two Volcanoes , Atef Ayadi
  10. 10. Imagine-An Erotic John Lennon Parody , Ramona Thompson
  11. 11. Imagine If The World Is Empty , MELVIN BANGGOLLAY
  12. 12. Imagination , ramesh rai
  13. 13. Imagine , Leslie Alexis
  14. 14. Remembering Haiti , Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
  15. 15. Winter Less Heaven. , Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  16. 16. Jane Eyre , MOHAMMAD SKATI
  17. 17. Punctuation Sky , Raj Arumugam
  18. 18. Set Your Mind , Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
  19. 19. JANE EYRE جين آير , MOHAMMAD SKATI
  20. 20. Imagine, You Are Not Here , gajanan mishra
  21. 21. He Is Great For Creating Sweet Sweetie , Nyota Yasulwe
  22. 22. Imagine , Jessica Robert
  23. 23. Do You Love Me? , Jay Brown
  24. 24. My Imagination , Theo Williams
  25. 25. Imagine , Kathy L. Goings
  26. 26. Imagine-A Breast Cancer Tribute Song , Ramona Thompson
  27. 27. Poet, O Poet , gajanan mishra
  28. 28. Can You Imagine , louis rams
  29. 29. Perhaps Heaven , Patti Masterman
  30. 30. On Dating A Woman Not Your Wife , RIC S. BASTASA
  31. 31. The Baptism Of Faith , Denis Martindale
  32. 32. Music! ! , Becky Ginn
  33. 33. The Body Has All Merits , Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
  34. 34. Nausea , RIC S. BASTASA
  35. 35. Move With A Reservation , Rm.Shanmugam Chettiar.
  36. 36. Imagine , Abdul Wahab
  37. 37. Imagine , maria sudibyo
  38. 38. Imagine Ii , Peter S. Quinn
  39. 39. Through His Eyes (C) 3-26-2010 , Corey Threet
  40. 40. Just So God Damn Sweet , Ace Of Black Hearts
  41. 41. Life Without Love , Lora Colon
  42. 42. Love Is Imagination , maria sudibyo
  43. 43. I Can't Imagine , Michael P. McParland
  44. 44. You Advise Me Always To Imagine , RIC S. BASTASA
  45. 45. 'I Imagine' , Ali Sabry
  46. 46. Imagine , Audrey Heller
  47. 47. Tomorrow Will Be Better , MOHAMMAD SKATI
  48. 48. Just Imagine , MOHAMMAD SKATI
  49. 49. Dreams Of The Past , Joyce Hemsley
  50. 50. Golden Links In Golden Chains , Michael Shepherd
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