Embrace Poem by Billy Collins


Rating: 3.9

You know the parlor trick.
wrap your arms around your own body
and from the back it looks like
someone is embracing you
her hands grasping your shirt
her fingernails teasing your neck
from the front it is another story
you never looked so alone
your crossed elbows and screwy grin
you could be waiting for a tailor
to fit you with a straight jacket
one that would hold you really tight.


It's older work and certainly more jovial. I really enjoy the 'two sides of the coin' motif. Especially coming around to the strait jacket...

11 4 Reply
Shirley Hanley 22 October 2009

Whenever I feel the blanket of my depression falling in on me I read a little Billy Collins I can always count on him to make me smile. I feel better now that I've had my Billy Collins fix!

13 2 Reply
Anna Russell 13 February 2007

Such a touching piece - displays all the talent of your namesake. Hugs Anna xxx

9 5 Reply
Francesca Johnson 13 February 2007

Quirky little piece. Original and fun to read. Love, Fran xx

8 5 Reply
Michael Elkin 17 November 2008

I've had to let my straight jacket out a lttle

7 5 Reply
Anna 19 July 2022

Start working from home! Great work for-Ever, Stay at Home Moms OR anyone needs an extra income. Get started. You only need a computer and a reliable computer connection so don't get late try…… 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐤𝐬𝐟𝐮𝐥.𝐜𝐨𝐦

0 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 18 July 2022

A well penned descriptive verse

0 0 Reply
Khairul Ahsan 12 November 2020

The poem is an epitome of poetic imagination. 'from the front it is another story' - and that's the true story'! Glad to see that the poem got the well deserved honour of being selected as the 'Modern Poem of the Day'!

0 0 Reply
L Milton Hankins 17 September 2020

A sweet poem, Billy, that causes all of us to remember and with a " screwy grin" remind ourselves that those were good...no, great...times. Give us more and more, please.

0 0 Reply
Dr Antony Theodore 08 July 2019

You could be waiting for a tailor to fit you with a straight jacket one that would hold you really tight. very nice poem. tony

1 0 Reply
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