Friday, November 8, 2013

Aimless Love

You are probably familiar with the poet Billy Collins. He was the US Poet Laureate from 2001-2003, and the New York State Poet Laureate from 2004-2006, and he won the Mark Twain Award for Humor in Poetry in 2005. Or, maybe you know him from his amazing TED talk…

Perhaps, you may have seen Billy Collins last month on the Colbert Report. It was while watching Colbert Report, where the poet laureate joined Stephen Colbert in reading a new poem, that I found out Mr. Collins had a new book of poetry, Aimless Love

Of course, I had to get a copy.

It is a wonderful collection, and the perfect gift for all those poetry lovers on your holiday list.

Along with To My Favorite 17-Year-Old High School Girl (the poem read on the Colbert Report) my favorite new poem was Quandary:


I was a little disappointed
in the apple I lifted from a bowl of fruit
and bit into on the way out the door,
fuzzy on the inside and lacking the snap of the ripe.

Yesterday it was probably perfect,
I figured, as I held it out before me,
soft red apple bearing my tooth marks,
as if I were contemplating the bust of Aristotle.

I considered all the people
who would be grateful to have this apple,
and others who might find it in their hearts
to kill me before slipping it into a pocket.

And I considered another slice
of the world's population, too,
those who are shielded from anything
as offensive as a slightly imperfect apple.

Then I took a second bite, a big one,
and pitched what was left
over the tall hedges hoping to hit on the head
a murderer or one of the filthy rich out for a stroll.

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