Friday, July 22, 2011

Poetry Friday: Consolation

Billy Collins just knows how to put things. Here he is on the pleasures of spending the summer speaking English and hanging out with others who do the same.

by Billy Collins

How agreeable it is not to be touring Italy this summer,
wandering her cities and ascending her torrid hilltowns.
How much better to cruise these local, familiar streets,
fully grasping the meaning of every roadsign and billboard
and all the sudden hand gestures of my compatriots.

There are no abbeys here, no crumbling frescoes or famous
domes and there is no need to memorize a succession
of kings or tour the dripping corners of a dungeon.
No need to stand around a sarcophagus, see Napoleon's
little bed on Elba, or view the bones of a saint under glass.

How much better to command the simple precinct of home
than be dwarfed by pillar, arch, and basilica.
Why hide my head in phrase books and wrinkled maps?
Why feed scenery into a hungry, one-eyes camera
eager to eat the world one monument at a time?

Here's the rest of the poem.

Here's Billy Collins reading it:

And here's today's roundup.


Tara said...

Ah, the joys of staying home for the holidays...even so, we're off to France next week and I am thrilled about it.

Susan Taylor Brown said...

This is one of my favorites of his. Thanks for sharing.

Myra Garces-Bacsal from GatheringBooks said...

Nice poem. Would personally love to tour Italy though. Haha. But yeah, after a vacation like that, one needs ANOTHER vacation to collect one's self after all the trekking and sightseeing. Thanks for sharing!

Mary Lee said...

Ditto what Tara said, except it's Belgium for us!!