Billy Collins Poems

Hit Title Date Added
1.
Another Reason Why I Don'T Keep A Gun In The House

The neighbors' dog will not stop barking.
He is barking the same high, rhythmic bark
that he barks every time they leave the house.
They must switch him on on their way out.
...

2.
On Turning Ten

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I'm coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light--
...

3.
Forgetfulness

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
...

4.
Introduction To Poetry

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
...

5.
Litany

You are the bread and the knife,
The crystal goblet and the wine...
-Jacques Crickillon
...

6.
Flames

Smokey the Bear heads
into the autumn woods
with a red can of gasoline
and a box of wooden matches.
...

7.
I Ask You

What scene would I want to be enveloped in
more than this one,
an ordinary night at the kitchen table,
floral wallpaper pressing in,
...

8.
Embrace

You know the parlor trick.
wrap your arms around your own body
and from the back it looks like
someone is embracing you
...

9.
Child Development

As sure as prehistoric fish grew legs
and sauntered off the beaches into forests
working up some irregular verbs for their
first conversation, so three-year-old children
...

10.
Marginalia

Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
...