Friday, August 12, 2011

The Blues - Billy Collins

Much of what is said here
must be said twice,
a reminder that no one
takes an immediate interest in the pain of others.

Nobody will listen, it would seem,
if you simply admit
your baby left you early this morning
she didn't even stop to say good-bye.

But if you sing it again
with the help of the band
which will now lift you to a higher,
more ardent, and beseeching key,

people will not only listen,
they will shift to the sympathetic
edges of their chairs,
moved to such acute anticipation

by that chord and the delay that follows,
they will not be able to sleep
unless you release with one finger
a scream from the throat of your guitar

and turn your head back to the microphone
to let them know
you're a hard-hearted man
but that woman's sure going to make you cry.

1 comment:

  1. I rarely paid attention in college. I was an English major and I was taking a course on poetry and I had to read a bunch of Billy Collins. I loved it. I rarely spoke up in class either. One day the professor was having a hard time getting everyone engaged and I brought up this poem and he was really enthused. I'll never forget the expression of this crabby old professor as he became so enlivened by talking about this poem. He had good reason to be, it's a hell of a poem. Good choice.