Tuesday, April 6, 2010
To Live the Moment.
Let me introduce Billy Collins.
The first poem I read by "America's most popular poet" (so called by the New York Times) was Tuesday, June 4th, 1991 (from The Art of Drowning). How could I not fall in love with this poet, this
"......secretary to the morning whose only
responsibility is to take down its bright, airy dictation
until it’s time to go to lunch......"
Collins writes about any ordinary day as if it’s special, unique, extraordinary! Which of course it is. For - can any moment, anyTHING, be called by the slightly soul-less word ordinary?
"If I look up, I see out the window the white stars
of clematis climbing a ladder of strings, a woodpile,
a stack of faded bricks, a small green garden of herbs,
things you would expect to find outside a window,
all written down now and placed in the setting
of a stanza as unalterably as they are seated
in their chairs in the ontological rooms of the world.
Yes, this is the kind of job I could succeed in,
an unpaid but contented amanuensis whose hands
are two birds fluttering on the lettered keys,
When viewed from a small distance, the habitual seems so totally out-of-the-ordinary. Or is it when I stand in the very middle and immerse my complete being in the NOW that I see every single second as the only one of its kind?
Sitting here, in my black swivel chair, feet elevated on a pile of old dictionaries, the fridge humming in the background, my tummy rumbling from lack of lunch, I see that this moment will never return, however ordinary it seems right now. It is early April, an overcast and sun-less
that would quickly be forgotten were it not for my
writing these few things down as I sit here empty-headed
at the typewriter with a cup of coffee, light and sweet."
What is life if not a continuous string of special seconds?
I started this post with the intention of presenting Introduction to Poetry by Billy Collins. The poem was in my hand while out walking, I was trying to memorize the first lines.
Sitting on my sofa an hour later, gold nib scratching across paper, trying to find something to say, I got all involved with different words.
To Live a Poem certainly reminds me to Live the Moment.