Poetry by Special Delivery

Poetry by Special Delivery

Today’s day at work was to be five hours longer than it was originally scheduled. Then I stayed an extra two hours. So. Aside from feeling like I have been run over by a truck, this frickin’ day was longer than 35% of my life thus far! No, seriously, have you ever known me to exaggerate?

The good news is that the truck was actually the UPS truck! And that makes me leap for joy (on my right leg, the one where the knee still works most of the time). I have been meaning to order this book for some time with the gift card I got for Christmas . . . or was it my birthday? I don’t know. I’m like the absent-minded professor, except I have nothing to profess.

Anywho, Billy Collins came out with Aimless Love, well I mean it already existed. It’s not like he invented it or anything. People have been aimlessly loving for millions of years, but too often it seems they have missed the mark. Wait. I think I’ve bungled that metaphor pretty badly.

In any case, Collins published a book of new and selected poems late last year and entitled it Aimless Love. That’s it on the left in the blurry, indistinct photo which is blurry and indistinct, and still in the box (the photo, not the book) because I was just so excited to finally have it, and my hands were shaking, and I was weeping . . . and no! I told you I never exaggerate. Much.

I cannot think of a better present for myself here at the beginning of National Poetry Month on which I have promised you some sort of poetry post each day. And below, doing all the work for me this time, is Billy Collins himself on the set of my favorite Radio Show, Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, reading the title poem from the book. It seems he’s a guest on the show whenever Keillor is in town. And if you are not familiar with this wonderful old-style live radio show, you are missing out on the greatest invention since sliced poetry.  Enjoy!

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Aimless Love Has Landed at Last

6 thoughts on “Aimless Love Has Landed at Last

  1. “My heart is always propped up in a field on a tripod, waiting for the next arrow”–WOW, what an image! Thank you for sharing his reading, David.

    And I hope you got some well-deserved rest after your extra-long day!

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  2. So, really? You can hang on to a gift card for that long?

    Impressive.

    My standing request to anyone who knows me is for Amazon gift cards, and they’re quite literally entirely spent the day they arrive.

    I believe you when you say you don’t exaggerate … much … however, I do think you’re being quite honest about weeping over the book. I have been known to weep over a box from Amazon …in fact, just recently: when a used (but in very good condition) of “The Complete Poems of Cavafy” (translated by Rae Dalven) arrived last week. Of course, just a short time later I again wept a few tears when I read the second poem in the book, called “Voices”:

    Ideal and dearly beloved voices
    of those who are dead, or of those
    who are lost to us like the dead.

    Sometimes they speak to us in our dreams;
    sometimes in thought the mind hears them.

    And for a moment with their echo other echoes
    return from the first poetry of our lives —
    like music the extinguishes the far-off night.

    (it was the phrase “the first poetry of our lives” that got me… what a breathtaking line, so full of meaning!)

    Anyway … I hope that you rested up from your very long day, and that you’ve been enjoying the wonderfulness of Mr. Collins.

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    • I did and I have been, yes. And yes, the weeping, that was true, exaggerated, but there was a happy tear. Yeah, long story on the gift card. Brian got it for me, but apparently gave me the wrong one. He gave me one that his brother or sister already used, So he had to get me another. And then there was. . . well, yes, my brain is like a colander sometimes. I don’t know what I was waiting for.

      Wonderful poetry there! Yes. You know our friend Ricky, used to go by the blogging name AngryRicky? From Saudi Arabia he sent me a Christmas Gift, and I’ve been reading sections of it when I have time to really digest it. Trilogy, by H.D. I did a bit of studying up on it and devouring carefully the introduction (something I usually read later) in order to have a good sense of the work. And there are notes in the back to pour over after each reading. Wonderful, soulful stuff. Sort of like studying a new religion, out of old religions, and counter religions and Freud as well. Very interesting, chewy stuff.

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