Fishing Poems - Poems For Fishing

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Fishing On The Susquehanna In July - Poem by Billy Collins

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 about Fishing On The Susquehanna In July by Billy Collins

  • Deepak Kumar Pattanayak 8/13/2020 11:39:00 PM

    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++ Reply

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  • Mahtab Bangalee 8/13/2020 11:28:00 PM

    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

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  • Khairul Ahsan 8/13/2020 10:00:00 PM

    The poem begins with an honest confession of the poet's not having ever fished on any river, and then goes on with an imagined scenario of his fishing in the Susquehanna River. Loved the concept.
    Congratulations on the poem's selection as the 'Modern Poem of the Day'!

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  • Glen Kappy 8/13/2020 4:25:00 PM

    Billy makes me smile, as he often does with his poems, as I revisit this one. Among the things that make me fond of his poetry are the detailed descriptions—as in raising the oars " to drip in the light" and " water whitening over rocks." Maybe because I'm not interested in fishing myself—though I can see why others might be—I can be particularly resonate with this poem. -GK Reply

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  • Edward Kofi Louis 8/13/2020 10:13:00 AM

    Upstream! ! !

    With the muse of a curled river!

    Musing along with the paintings of nature.

    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

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  • Nathan Walraven 6/12/2018 10:46:00 PM

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

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black 9/28/2014 5:54:00 PM

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

    4 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Brian Jani 5/17/2014 2:49:00 PM

    Billy A beautifully written poem. Keep it up Reply

    7 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • * Sunprincess * 3/19/2014 11:01:00 AM 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 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • Michael Gale 3/18/2006 8:42:00 PM

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

    9 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
Fishing Poems
  1. 1. Fishing On The Susquehanna In July
    Billy Collins
  2. 2. Moon Fishing
    Lisel Mueller
  3. 3. Hiawatha's Fishing
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  4. 4. Fishing In Troubled Water
    Hasmukh Amathalal
  5. 5. Fishing For A Friend
    omar ibrahim
  6. 6. When The Fishing Boats Go Out
    Lucy Maud Montgomery
  7. 7. Salmon-Fishing
    Robinson Jeffers
  8. 8. Off To The Fishing Ground
    Lucy Maud Montgomery
  9. 9. Fishing
    Paul Laurence Dunbar
  10. 10. Part 1 Of Trout Fishing In America
    Richard Brautigan
  11. 11. *honey, My Beautiful Wife And Fishing Bu..
    Ted Sheridan
  12. 12. Part 3 Of Trout Fishing In America
    Richard Brautigan
  13. 13. I'D Rather Be Fishing
    Juan Olivarez
  14. 14. Fishing Song: To J.A. Froude And Tom Hug..
    Charles Kingsley
  15. 15. Part 2 Of Trout Fishing In America
    Richard Brautigan
  16. 16. Part 10 Of Trout Fishing In America
    Richard Brautigan
  17. 17. Max And Moritz Fishing
    Wilhelm Busch
  18. 18. Your Fishing Pole
    Kathleen J. Shields
  19. 19. Night Fishing
    Christopher Howell
  20. 20. A Poem Of Hunting, Fishing, And A Truck
    Glaedr the poet
  21. 21. Part 6 Of Trout Fishing In America
    Richard Brautigan
  22. 22. Part 7 Of Trout Fishing In America
    Richard Brautigan
  23. 23. Part 4 Of Trout Fishing In America
    Richard Brautigan
  24. 24. Part 5 Of Trout Fishing In America
    Richard Brautigan
  25. 25. Part 8 Of Trout Fishing In America
    Richard Brautigan
  26. 26. Part 9 Of Trout Fishing In America
    Richard Brautigan
  27. 27. Fishing In The Wei River
    Bai Juyi
  28. 28. Fishing With Dad
    Smoky Hoss
  29. 29. .5. Gone Fishing
    David Threadgold
  30. 30. Fishing In The Sky
    Sara Tehrani
  31. 31. The Fishing Net
    Muzahidul Reza
  32. 32. On A Bank As I Sate A Fishing: A Descrip..
    Sir Henry Wotton
  33. 33. - The Fishing Tradition-
    Carolyn Ford Witt
  34. 34. A Bad Day Of Fishing
    Juan Olivarez
  35. 35. Ph: Mentor: Fishing With Older Men
    Brian Johnston
  36. 36. Fishing For Poems
    Max Reif
  37. 37. Where Are Today's Political Poets And Pr..
    Ted Sheridan
  38. 38. The Song Of Hiawatha Viii: Hiawatha's Fi..
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  39. 39. I Love To Go Fishing
    Juan Olivarez
  40. 40. Fishing For Work
    Smoky Hoss
  41. 41. Wishful Fishing
    Kim Barney
  42. 42. Fishing For Love
    shannon lowery
  43. 43. Go Fishing
    Damian Cranney
  44. 44. Fishing Fun
    Mary Nagy
  45. 45. Dear Devil, How Are Your Eggs Today?Frie..
    Bri Edwards
  46. 46. Fishing Net -Δίχτυ Hay(Na) Ku
    Kostas Lagos
  47. 47. (limerick)fishing In Alaska
    WES Vogler
  48. 48. Fishing In Heaven
    David KUSH
  49. 49. Fishing In The Sunset
    Marilyn Lott
  50. 50. Fishing Reasons
    Edgar Albert Guest

New Fishing Poems

  1. Old Ted, keith brown
  2. Skill - 8, Muzahidul Reza
  3. The Swimming Hole, James McLain
  4. The Old Fishermen By The Sea, Jim Yerman
  5. Another Pond To Fish In, Dorsey Baker
  6. Fishing Again, Dorsey Baker
  7. Me And My Fishing Buddy, Dorsey Baker
  8. Feat, Lamar Cole
  9. I Love, Oualid Alamghouz
  10. Bruno, Francis Duggan

Fishing Poems

  1. Hiawatha's Fishing

    Forth upon the Gitche Gumee, On the shining Big-Sea-Water, With his fishing-line of cedar, Of the twisted bark of cedar, Forth to catch the sturgeon Nahma, Mishe-Nahma, King of Fishes, In his birch canoe exulting All alone went Hiawatha. Through the clear, transparent water He could see the fishes swimming Far down in the depths below him; See the yellow perch, the Sahwa, Like a sunbeam in the water, See the Shawgashee, the craw-fish, Like a spider on the bottom, On the white and sandy bottom. At the stern sat Hiawatha, With his fishing-line of cedar; In his plumes the breeze of morning Played as in the hemlock branches; On the bows, with tail erected, Sat the squirrel, Adjidaumo; In his fur the breeze of morning Played as in the prairie grasses. On the white sand of the bottom Lay the monster Mishe-Nahma, Lay the sturgeon, King of Fishes; Through his gills he breathed the water, With his fins he fanned and winnowed, With his tail he swept the sand-floor. There he lay in all his armor; On each side a shield to guard him, Plates of bone upon his forehead, Down his sides and back and shoulders Plates of bone with spines projecting Painted was he with his war-paints, Stripes of yellow, red, and azure, Spots of brown and spots of sable; And he lay there on the bottom, Fanning with his fins of purple, As above him Hiawatha In his birch canoe came sailing, With his fishing-line of cedar. "Take my bait," cried Hiawatha, Dawn into the depths beneath him, "Take my bait, O Sturgeon, Nahma! Come up from below the water, Let us see which is the stronger!" And he dropped his line of cedar Through the clear, transparent water, Waited vainly for an answer, Long sat waiting for an answer, And repeating loud and louder, "Take my bait, O King of Fishes!" Quiet lay the sturgeon, Nahma, Fanning slowly in the water, Looking up at Hiawatha, Listening to his call and clamor, His unnecessary tumult, Till he wearied of the shouting; And he said to the Kenozha, To the pike, the Maskenozha, "Take the bait of this rude fellow, Break the line of Hiawatha!" In his fingers Hiawatha Felt the loose line jerk and tighten, As he drew it in, it tugged so That the birch canoe stood endwise, Like a birch log in the water, With the squirrel, Adjidaumo, Perched and frisking on the summit. Full of scorn was Hiawatha When he saw the fish rise upward, Saw the pike, the Maskenozha, Coming nearer, nearer to him, And he shouted through the water, "Esa! esa! shame upon you! You are but the pike, Kenozha, You are not the fish I wanted, You are not the King of Fishes!" Reeling downward to the bottom Sank the pike in great confusion, And the mighty sturgeon, Nahma, Said to Ugudwash, the sun-fish, To the bream, with scales of crimson, "Take the bait of this great boaster, Break the line of Hiawatha!" Slowly upward, wavering, gleaming, Rose the Ugudwash, the sun-fish, Seized the line of Hiawatha, Swung with all his weight upon it, Made a whirlpool in the water, Whirled the birch canoe in circles, Round and round in gurgling eddies, Till the circles in the water Reached the far-off sandy beaches, Till the water-flags and rushes Nodded on the distant margins. But when Hiawatha saw him Slowly rising through the water, Lifting up his disk refulgent, Loud he shouted in derision, "Esa! esa! shame upon you! You are Ugudwash, the sun-fish, You are not the fish I wanted, You are not the King of Fishes!" Slowly downward, wavering, gleaming, Sank the Ugudwash, the sun-fish, And again the sturgeon, Nahma, Heard the shout of Hiawatha, Heard his challenge of defiance, The unnecessary tumult, Ringing far across the water. From the white sand of the bottom Up he rose with angry gesture, Quivering in each nerve and fibre, Clashing all his plates of armor, Gleaming bright with all his war-paint; In his wrath he darted upward, Flashing leaped into the sunshine, Opened his great jaws, and swallowed Both canoe and Hiawatha. Down into that darksome cavern Plunged the headlong Hiawatha, As a log on some black river Shoots and plunges down the rapids, Found himself in utter darkness, Groped about in helpless wonder, Till he felt a great heart beating, Throbbing in that utter darkness. And he smote it in his anger, With his fist, the heart of Nahma, Felt the mighty King of Fishes Shudder through each nerve and fibre, Heard the water gurgle round him As he leaped and staggered through it, Sick at heart, and faint and weary. Crosswise then did Hiawatha Drag his birch-canoe for safety, Lest from out the jaws of Nahma, In the turmoil and confusion, Forth he might be hurled and perish. And the squirrel, Adjidaumo, Frisked and chatted very gayly, Toiled and tugged with Hiawatha Till the labor was completed. Then said Hiawatha to him, "O my little friend, the squirrel, Bravely have you toiled to help me; Take the thanks of Hiawatha, And the name which now he gives you; For hereafter and forever Boys shall call you Adjidaumo, Tail-in-air the boys shall call you!" And again the sturgeon, Nahma, Gasped and quivered in the water, Then was still, and drifted landward Till he grated on the pebbles, Till the listening Hiawatha Heard him grate upon the margin, Felt him strand upon the pebbles, Knew that Nahma, King of Fishes, Lay there dead upon the margin. Then he heard a clang and flapping, As of many wings assembling, Heard a screaming and confusion, As of birds of prey contending, Saw a gleam of light above him, Shining through the ribs of Nahma, Saw the glittering eyes of sea-gulls, Of Kayoshk, the sea-gulls, peering, Gazing at him through the opening, Heard them saying to each other, "'T is our brother, Hiawatha!" And he shouted from below them, Cried exulting from the caverns: "O ye sea-gulls! O my brothers! I have slain the sturgeon, Nahma; Make the rifts a little larger, With your claws the openings widen, Set me free from this dark prison, And henceforward and forever Men shall speak of your achievements, Calling you Kayoshk, the sea-gulls, Yes, Kayoshk, the Noble Scratchers!" And the wild and clamorous sea-gulls Toiled with beak and claws together, Made the rifts and openings wider In the mighty ribs of Nahma, And from peril and from prison, From the body of the sturgeon, From the peril of the water, They released my Hiawatha. He was standing near his wigwam, On the margin of the water, And he called to old Nokomis, Called and beckoned to Nokomis, Pointed to the sturgeon, Nahma, Lying lifeless on the pebbles, With the sea-gulls feeding on him. "I have slain the Mishe-Nahma, Slain the King of Fishes!" said he' "Look! the sea-gulls feed upon him, Yes, my friends Kayoshk, the sea-gulls; Drive them not away, Nokomis, They have saved me from great peril In the body of the sturgeon, Wait until their meal is ended, Till their craws are full with feasting, Till they homeward fly, at sunset, To their nests among the marshes; Then bring all your pots and kettles, And make oil for us in Winter." And she waited till the sun set, Till the pallid moon, the Night-sun, Rose above the tranquil water, Till Kayoshk, the sated sea-gulls, From their banquet rose with clamor, And across the fiery sunset Winged their way to far-off islands, To their nests among the rushes. To his sleep went Hiawatha, And Nokomis to her labor, Toiling patient in the moonlight, Till the sun and moon changed places, Till the sky was red with sunrise, And Kayoshk, the hungry sea-gulls, Came back from the reedy islands, Clamorous for their morning banquet. Three whole days and nights alternate Old Nokomis and the sea-gulls Stripped the oily flesh of Nahma, Till the waves washed through the rib-bones, Till the sea-gulls came no longer, And upon the sands lay nothing But the skeleton of Nahma.

  2. Moon Fishing

    When the moon was full they came to the water. some with pitchforks, some with rakes, some with sieves and ladles, and one with a silver cup. And they fished til a traveler passed them and said, "Fools, to catch the moon you must let your women spread their hair on the water -- even the wily moon will leap to that bobbing net of shimmering threads, gasp and flop till its silver scales lie black and still at your feet." And they fished with the hair of their women till a traveler passed them and said, "Fools, do you think the moon is caught lightly, with glitter and silk threads? You must cut out your hearts and bait your hooks with those dark animals; what matter you lose your hearts to reel in your dream?" And they fished with their tight, hot hearts till a traveler passed them and said, "Fools, what good is the moon to a heartless man? Put back your hearts and get on your knees and drink as you never have, until your throats are coated with silver and your voices ring like bells." And they fished with their lips and tongues until the water was gone and the moon had slipped away in the soft, bottomless mud.

  3. Fishing In Troubled Water

    “Fishing in troubled waters” means end of happiness Infusing hatred and violence where exists oneness Excuses advanced with malign and hollowness Waiting for chance to ruin and reduce to nothingness Human psychology may differ from time to time Inherent weakness remains through out the same Either with countries or human beings no difference at all Need of an hour is to avoid and never give it a call Human mind and politics are devil’s workshop Nothing is achieved by pleading from priests or Bishops No religion, principles or teaching can yield any influence Inviting only destruction, misery, poverty since Millions are dying not because of natural curse No one will lament if that is destiny of course Who are we to have killings and then no remorse? No will power but to face helplessly is only force We talk of peace but work for only pieces Dividing the spirit to have only fishes Does this serve the flash only for riches? No one thinks as it is beyond reaches Somewhere region imbalance work or fanatics In reality it is purely human tragedy and politics Where everybody wants to have sway and power No concern for plight, misery and deaths of fewer We may witness upsurge in reckless killings Nothing will matter except force willing You may loose your rights and freedom Nations may buckle under pressure without any wisdom We have no business to play dirty games History has witnessed it with only few names We will still not learn and lessons from the past Continue to debate and doubts always cast

  4. Fishing For A Friend

    when you go to fish go fishing for the finest kind which good anglers always do. if you're looking for a fine fish you must choose the purest lake in which good anglers fish. if you catch a fine fish try not to let it get away good anglers real them in. you must bring your fish home a fine fish will quench your hunger after a long day fishing. (January,2010, Omar Ibrahim) (revised by MR.Ronald Peat)