Billy Collins

(22 March 1941 - / New York City)

I Chop Some Parsley While Listening To Art Blakey's Version Of "Three Blind Mice"

Poem by Billy Collins

And I start wondering how they came to be blind.
If it was congenital, they could be brothers and sister,
and I think of the poor mother
brooding over her sightless young triplets.

Or was it a common accident, all three caught
in a searing explosion, a firework perhaps?
If not,
if each came to his or her blindness separately,

how did they ever manage to find one another?
Would it not be difficult for a blind mouse
to locate even one fellow mouse with vision
let alone two other blind ones?

And how, in their tiny darkness,
could they possibly have run after a farmer's wife
or anyone else's wife for that matter?
Not to mention why.

Just so she could cut off their tails
with a carving knife, is the cynic's answer,
but the thought of them without eyes
and now without tails to trail through the moist grass

or slip around the corner of a baseboard
has the cynic who always lounges within me
up off his couch and at the window
trying to hide the rising softness that he feels.

By now I am on to dicing an onion
which might account for the wet stinging
in my own eyes, though Freddie Hubbard's
mournful trumpet on "Blue Moon,"

which happens to be the next cut,
cannot be said to be making matters any better.

Comments about I Chop Some Parsley While Listening To Art Blakey's Version Of "Three Blind Mice" by Billy Collins

  • Douglas Scotney (12/11/2016 7:20:00 PM)

    great cartoon-like defence of mice, B.C.(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Joseph Pedulla (10/25/2016 12:36:00 PM)

    I simply cannot stomach this Collinsian hyper cogiation over simple things. Who in his right mind ever thought such absurd things about the three blind mice? Was it congenital? come on! Give me a break. Tell me something honest and worth knowing, not this intellectual posturing that cannot bear even one second of honest scrutiny! ! !(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Philip Edward Price (6/22/2012 12:43:00 PM)

    Wonderful Billy Collins
    Maybe its not three blind mice
    perhaps its mouse mouse mouse
    And what about Sage Rosemary and Thyme(Report)Reply

    9 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Ian Curtis (2/17/2006 11:15:00 AM)

    This is the cleverest thing I have ever read

    12 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Raynette Eitel (4/18/2005 11:42:00 PM)

    Oh my goodness. Billy Collins CAN make a silk purse out of a sow's ears! (and chop parsley at the same time.) Wonderful!(Report)Reply

    Joseph Pedulla(10/25/2016 12:39:00 PM)

    No, it's exactly the opposite! He has made a sow's ear out of a silk purse! He ruins a time-honored tale with his hyper-cogitations. He does it all the time, and it's not one jot honest. Who the hell ever wonders if the blindness of the three blind mice was congenital? He's the cynic! You have to be a cynic to dismantle a nursery rhyme like that! Be a child again, Billy- not an adult looking back with hyper-cogitation on simple things.

    12 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
  • Lorri Cardillo (3/12/2005 12:41:00 PM)

    love it, it's hysterical!(Report)Reply

    11 person liked.
    8 person did not like.
Read all 7 comments »

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Read poems about / on: sister, moon, mother, alone, brother, rose, running

Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003