Billy Collins

(22 March 1941 - / New York City)

On Turning Ten - Poem by Billy Collins

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I'm coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
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Comments about On Turning Ten by Billy Collins

  • (12/6/2017 3:11:00 PM)


    i really like this story because it reminds me of when i was 10 and now i am 29 and it is really great an di love this website so keep it up (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • (12/5/2017 12:52:00 PM)


    vote up if you like this poem (Report) Reply

  • (12/5/2017 8:49:00 AM)


    1st verse danish translation:
    Hele ideen om det får mig til at føle
    som jeg kommer ned med noget,
    noget værre end nogen mavesmerter
    eller hovedpine jeg får fra at læse i dårligt lys-
    en slags mæslinger af ånden,
    et pølser af psyken,
    en disfiguring kylling pox af sjælen.
    (Report) Reply

  • (12/5/2017 8:23:00 AM)


    kinda like this. don't know what to say though. (Report) Reply

  • (11/28/2017 8:56:00 AM)


    danku memesu is a ninja ninja (Report) Reply

  • (9/18/2017 8:07:00 AM)


    La idea entera me hace sentir
    como si estuviera bajando con algo,
    algo peor que cualquier dolor de estómago
    o los dolores de cabeza que obtengo de leer en mala luz,
    una especie de sarampión del espíritu,
    una paperas de la psique,
    una varicela desfigurante del alma.

    Usted me dice que es demasiado pronto para mirar hacia atrás,
    pero eso es porque te has olvidado
    la perfecta sencillez de ser uno
    y la hermosa complejidad introducida por dos.
    Pero puedo acostarme en mi cama y recordar cada dígito.
    A los cuatro años era un mago árabe.
    Podría hacerme invisible
    bebiendo un vaso de leche de cierta manera.
    A los siete años yo era un soldado, a nueve un príncipe.

    Pero ahora estoy en la ventana
    mirando la luz de la tarde.
    En ese entonces nunca cayó tan solemnemente
    contra el lado de mi casa del árbol,
    y mi bicicleta nunca se apoyó contra el garaje
    como lo hace hoy,
    toda la velocidad azul oscuro se escurrió fuera de ella.

    Este es el comienzo de la tristeza, me digo a mí mismo,
    mientras camine por el universo en mis zapatillas.
    Es hora de decir adiós a mis amigos imaginarios,
    tiempo para convertir el primer número grande.

    Parece que ayer solía creer
    no había nada bajo mi piel pero luz.
    Si me cortas podría brillar.
    Pero ahora, cuando caigo sobre las aceras de la vida,
    Piel de mis rodillas. Yo sangro.
    Billy Collins
    (Report) Reply

  • (9/18/2017 8:06:00 AM)


    You asked for a translation he you go you got it.


    La idea entera me hace sentir
    como si estuviera bajando con algo,
    algo peor que cualquier dolor de estómago
    o los dolores de cabeza que obtengo de leer en mala luz,
    una especie de sarampión del espíritu,
    una paperas de la psique,
    una varicela desfigurante del alma.

    Usted me dice que es demasiado pronto para mirar hacia atrás,
    pero eso es porque te has olvidado
    la perfecta sencillez de ser uno
    y la hermosa complejidad introducida por dos.
    Pero puedo acostarme en mi cama y recordar cada dígito.
    A los cuatro años era un mago árabe.
    Podría hacerme invisible
    bebiendo un vaso de leche de cierta manera.
    A los siete años yo era un soldado, a nueve un príncipe.

    Pero ahora estoy en la ventana
    mirando la luz de la tarde.
    En ese entonces nunca cayó tan solemnemente
    contra el lado de mi casa del árbol,
    y mi bicicleta nunca se apoyó contra el garaje
    como lo hace hoy,
    toda la velocidad azul oscuro se escurrió fuera de ella.

    Este es el comienzo de la tristeza, me digo a mí mismo,
    mientras camine por el universo en mis zapatillas.
    Es hora de decir adiós a mis amigos imaginarios,
    tiempo para convertir el primer número grande.

    Parece que ayer solía creer
    no había nada bajo mi piel pero luz.
    Si me cortas podría brillar.
    Pero ahora, cuando caigo sobre las aceras de la vida,
    Piel de mis rodillas. Yo sangro.
    Billy Collins
    (Report) Reply

  • Loppo Louie (11/15/2016 1:18:00 PM)

    On Turning Ten
    Really like this poem. (Report) Reply

  • (10/25/2016 1:45:00 PM)

    On Turning Ten
    What the hell is dark blue speed? ? ? Come on, Billy! How about just speed? All the speed drained out of it. Dark blue speed! (Report) Reply

    Robert (12/13/2017 3:57:00 PM)

    I think you are illustrating the poet's point. In reading this as an adult you see no color in speed just as the older child in the poem no longer sees the color- it has been drained-, but he remembers that once he did see the bike as filled with speed, and that the speed had color. The use of color as symbol is similar here to Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas, another poem that touches on growing older and the loss of innocence.

    danku memesu (11/28/2017 2:54:00 PM)

    It means the sky around becoming dark

  • Rajnish Manga (10/19/2015 12:56:00 PM)


    This is a poignant commentary on the years of life that have gone past now. As a boy grows older, he appears to be oblivious of his innocence. A quote from the poem:
    but that is because you have forgotten
    the perfect simplicity of being one
    (Report) Reply

  • (9/20/2014 1:40:00 PM)


    Captain, my captain. (Report) Reply

    Joseph Pedulla (10/25/2016 1:52:00 PM)

    You're not serious, are you?

  • (9/16/2014 1:17:00 AM)


    I'm not sure that Billy Collins has ever written the BIG POEM, the one (or two or three) that will place him up there with Robert Frost and T.S. Eliot and Sylvia Plath and Allen Ginsburg, and the like. However, Collins never publishes a bad poem - not once, to my knowledge. He writes poems that are polished, thoughtful, interesting, and at the same time accessible to the Common Reader. Hurrah for Collins! (Report) Reply

    Joseph Pedulla (10/25/2016 1:51:00 PM)

    He does not have BIG POETRY in him. Doesn't anyone get that by now? He is a minor poet- if even that. I cannot abide the adulation this guy gets for his over-cogitated simplicities! He has no big poetry in him, not even if he tried. He will never be a Frost or a T.S. Eliot, because he is not so deep a thinker. He takes simple ideas and tries to make them sound profound. But they're not; they're just simple. As he is.

  • Mudnainah Farah (9/13/2013 11:16:00 PM)


    So deep, nostalgic even. You will find layers of meanings hidden under these words. (Report) Reply

    Joseph Pedulla (10/25/2016 1:47:00 PM)

    Really? Layers of meaning? Really? This is as straightforward as a ruler.

  • (2/24/2012 1:15:00 PM)


    I LLLOOOOVVVVEEEE THIS POEM! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! I have nothing bad to say! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

    Joseph Pedulla (10/25/2016 1:46:00 PM)

    You love too easily.

  • (12/23/2011 6:01:00 PM)


    I must admit this is one helluvan idea. I wonder if it could have been written in the language of ten. Compare with Christmas Tree by e.e.cummings. (Report) Reply

    Joseph Pedulla (10/25/2016 1:46:00 PM)

    Yeah, he certainly sounds as though he has the mind of a ten-year-old!

  • (9/17/2009 10:21:00 PM)


    Hmmmm. 'I felt so ashamed to be 10 years old and afraid.43 isn't much different'. Feels like a poem coming on. ;) (Report) Reply

  • (8/30/2008 11:19:00 PM)


    This poem had me reminiscing about my 10th. It was 1975 and 'Jaws' had just come out. I had the coolest birthday ever - a pool party and everyone got rubber sharks as a party favor. I was afraid to get in the pool. I felt so ashamed to be 10 years old and afraid. 43 isn't much different. (Report) Reply

  • (6/18/2007 1:46:00 PM)


    This is a great poem to read to children, they get a huge kick out of this idea....looking back on your life when you are that young.... (Report) Reply










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