Sunday, October 18, 2020

Consolation by Billy Collins (and more . . . )

Oh, how I love Billy Collins.  And this particular poem seems especially appropriate right now.  

AND he made me laugh a little.

My wanderlust is at high peak right now.

I'm happy and lucky to live in a place that is full of breathtaking natural beauty, but dadgummit - I am missing PARIS!

You may have heard "that guy" say if he loses the election he might have to leave the country.

Pfft.  Bye.  Go.  WHO cares?!

Donald and I have a couple of spare suitcases we're unable to use due to the atrocious NON-HANDLING of The Trump Pandemic Virus.  We're not welcome anywhere.  If, however, "that guy" finds a place that will welcome him, we will gladly donate suitcases to help him out.

-  -  -


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?

Instead of slouching in a café ignorant of the word for ice,
I will head down to the coffee shop and the waitress
known as Dot. I will slide into the flow of the morning
paper, all language barriers down,
rivers of idiom running freely, eggs over easy on the way.

And after breakfast, I will not have to find someone
willing to photograph me with my arm around the owner.
I will not puzzle over the bill or record in a journal
what I had to eat and how the sun came in the window.
It is enough to climb back into the car

as if it were the great car of English itself
and sounding my loud vernacular horn, speed off
down a road that will never lead to Rome, not even Bologna.

1 comment:

Gram said...

From what the bews tells us you don't want to be in Paris right now. Even Europe's numbers are climbing. and the criminal who allowed 21?, ooo people to die should not leave the country unless we have jails elsewhere - Guantanamo???