Friday, March 19, 2010


I read this poem last night and it was so perfect I almost posted it, but then didn't. While I was walking down Narragansett beach this afternoon I couldn't get the line about the hammer and the paperweight out of my head, and the sun was so bright, my body so warm.
Before I got out of the car I had sat in the beach parking lot and wondered if I should take my shoes off. Was it too soon? Would I look ridiculous, parading down the shore with my naked, white feet? Clearly impatient, clearly foolish.
I left them on.
After I walked a little while I noticed that most people had chosen otherwise. The beach was littered, all the way down, with bare footprints.


If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary's cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,

a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies

seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.

From Nine Horses: Poems, by Billy Collins


  1. I know the raspberries
    across the road
    are ripe.
    Why don't I
    go there?

  2. I know
    the raspberries
    across the road
    are ripe.
    Why don't
    I go there ?

  3. I heart Billy Collins, all days.
    I recognized this poem immediately: the part about ripping off the door to the bird cage is my fav.