04 February 2009

Thoughts on "The Poets Are at Their Windows"

This month's "Poem-of-the-Month" at CrowVoice.com is a new, unpublished piece called "The Poets are at Their Windows."

The title is a line from the Billy Collins poem "Monday" which is collected in his book The Trouble with Poetry. However, I know the poem from a reading of his that my good friend Todd burned for me. I really like his poetry (Billy's that is; though I really like Todd's, too), and I like it even better to hear it in his voice. My favorite is the poem "Japan." Find it. Read it.

But like a good poet, I was hard at work standing at the window with a cup of coffee. It was an uncommonly sunny day (uncommon for a Michigan winter, anyway), and the sunlight on the snow revealed crystals that seemed to be scattered at impossible depths. My eyes went in and out of focus, a late night phone call was still on my mind, and suddenly I was in the middle of a new poem.

I haven't read Billy's book, so I don't know what he thinks the trouble with poetry is; but I would say that given mornings of sunlight on snow and nights of phone calls that feel just as radiant, poetry is doing just fine. As they say in Kiswahili, Si jambo -- "no problem."

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