Fishing On The Susquehanna In July Poem by Billy Collins

Fishing On The Susquehanna In July

Rating: 3.2


I have never been fishing on the Susquehanna
or on any river for that matter
to be perfectly honest.

Not in July or any month
have I had the pleasure -- if it is a pleasure --
of fishing on the Susquehanna.

I am more likely to be found
in a quiet room like this one --
a painting of a woman on the wall,

a bowl of tangerines on the table --
trying to manufacture the sensation
of fishing on the Susquehanna.

There is little doubt
that others have been fishing
on the Susquehanna,

rowing upstream in a wooden boat,
sliding the oars under the water
then raising them to drip in the light.

But the nearest I have ever come to
fishing on the Susquehanna
was one afternoon in a museum in Philadelphia,

when I balanced a little egg of time
in front of a painting
in which that river curled around a bend

under a blue cloud-ruffled sky,
dense trees along the banks,
and a fellow with a red bandana

sitting in a small, green
flat-bottom boat
holding the thin whip of a pole.

That is something I am unlikely
ever to do, I remember
saying to myself and the person next to me.

Then I blinked and moved on
to other American scenes
of haystacks, water whitening over rocks,

even one of a brown hare
who seemed so wired with alertness
I imagined him springing right out of the frame.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Brian Jani 17 May 2014

Billy A beautifully written poem. Keep it up

7 6 Reply
Michael Gale 18 March 2006

Nicely done and so much fun. Good poem and best regards-Mike Gale.

9 3 Reply
* Sunprincess * 19 March 2014

........my favourite stanzas...enjoyed much.. under a blue cloud-ruffled sky, dense trees along the banks, and a fellow with a red bandana sitting in a small, green flat-bottom boat holding the thin whip of a pole.

7 5 Reply

Nice description of a painting..I guess you very inspired by another artist's works..makes that person a Muse..I enjoy your poetry..

4 6 Reply
Nathan Walraven 12 June 2018

This poem is very nice. keep up writing them. Please write more fishing poems Billy

1 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 13 August 2021

Congratulations dear Professor Collins being chosen by Poem Hunter and Team as The Modern Poem Of The Day

0 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 13 August 2021

This is an amazing poem by Professor Collins, how vrilliantly put, thank you for this profound lesson.5 Stars full!

0 0 Reply
kerry 23 October 2020

tryin 2 remember an ole fishin poem. catchin any, gotta few, wat ya usin, gobba worms, fishin on bottom, ridin on bottom, wat ya drinkin, jug a jim beam. thats all i remember. can u help with entire poem

0 0 Reply
Deepak Kumar Pattanayak 13 August 2020

Well imagined and well narrated poem through keeping to indoors and create creative things like painting and writing...a master piece by master poet 10++

0 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 13 August 2020

rowing upstream in a wooden boat, sliding the oars under the water then raising them to drip in the light. ......excellent thrilling; superbly written this poem on fishing in life; poet greatly enjoyed the fishing on the Susquehanna in July the month of rainy day; sitting on the wooden boat fishing is very enjoyable part in life for anyone; pleasure to read this poem

0 0 Reply
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