Thursday, September 3, 2009

Oh - I'm going to add this Muse Day Post, even though I'm late.


The birds are in their trees,
the toast is in the toaster,
and the poets are at their windows.

They are at their windows
in every section of the tangerine of earth ---
the Chinese poets looking up at the moon,
the American poets gazing out
at the pink and blue ribbons of sunrise.

The clerks are at their desks,
the miners are down in their mines,
and the poets are looking out their windows
maybe with a cigarette, a cup of tea,
and maybe a flannel shirt or bathrobe is involved.

The proofreaders are playing the ping-pong
game of proofreading,
glancing back and forth from page to page,
the chefs are dicing celery and potatoes,
and the poets are at their windows
because it is their job for which
they are paid nothing every Friday afternoon.

Which window it hardly seems to matter
though many have a favorite,
for there is always something to see ---
a bird grasping a thin branch,
the headlights of a taxi rounding a corner,
those two boys in wool caps angling across the street.

The fishermen bob in their boats,
the linemen climb their round poles,
the barbers wait by their mirrors and chairs,
and the poets continue to stare
at the cracked birdbath or a limb knocked down by the wind.

By now, it should go without saying
that what the oven is to the baker
and the berry-stained blouse to the dry cleaner,
so the window is to the poet.

Just think ---
before the invention of the window,
the poets would have had to put on a jacket
and a winter hat to go outside
or remain indoors with only a wall to stare at.

And when I say a wall,
I do not mean a wall with striped wallpaper
and a sketch of a cow in a frame.

I mean a cold wall of fieldstones,
the wall of the medieval sonnet,
the original woman's heart of stone,
the stone caught in the throat of her poet-lover.

by Billy Collins
The Trouble with Poetry and Other Poems

And I'm glad I have more than a wall at which to gaze when I look outside my window!
Happy September!

To enjoy more Muse Day posts, visit Carolyn Gail at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago.


Gail said...

I love this poem VERY much! and the photos out your window are icing on the cake! Happy September to you my friend! gail

Rosey Pollen said...

I love the phrase, maybe a bathrobe is involved. Thanks for making me smile!

Anonymous said...

I think you've got a fabulous view from your window. I love the trees and sunlight.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I am so glad you didn't let the date prevent you from posting this thoughtful poem. Your window views are lovely.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

I love to look at blog pictures of plants and gardens. Thanks.

Rose said...

I love this poem! Thanks for sharing; it's always a muse day when you are observing nature. I like Collins' definition of a poet--I think we all are poets in that respect.

Rosemary said...

Musing away.....................hummmmmmmmmmmmm

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

What pretty views you have to look at, I love all the trees. I enjoyed the poem too!

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

It helps to have a nice view at which to look out, which you definitely have. Happy September!

Shady Gardener said...

Gail, I don't know what happened, but I really did leave you a note here the other day! You are so nice. :-)

Hi Rosey, I really admire this poet. Many of his poems make me laugh, too.

Hi Grace, You're right! It's a wonderful view and I haven't been able to enjoy it (or even being out there) as much as I'd like, lately... (early morning sunshine).

Hi Lisa! I need to visit you, too. I'm glad you enjoyed this post. I also enjoy my view out the window. If I sat here longer, perhaps I'd be a poet, too? ;-)

PS, I do too! That's the beauty of all this blogging, photography and visiting, isn't it? :-)

Rose, Billy Collins was Poet Laureate of the US from 2001 - 2003.

Hi Rosemary. Musing... not always necessary Amusing. ;-)

Hi Catherine, Thanks for visiting. We're into September. Can you believe it??

MMD, Hi! The funny thing about where I live is that now most of the front yard is pretty sunny with lots of color, while the backyard continues to be cool, restful and shady. I actually have a need for a certain amount of sunshine, but I really, really love the cool shade. (I think I really want to plant another tree in the front yard where there used to be three.)

Curmudgeon said...

I enjoyed the poem and the views from your windows. Thanks for sharing!

Shady Gardener said...

Hi Curmudgeon! I've not been to visit for awhile. I'll fix that right now! :-)