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Nightclub Analysis



Author: Poetry of Billy Collins Type: Poetry Views: 537

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You are so beautiful and I am a fool

to be in love with you

is a theme that keeps coming up

in songs and poems.

There seems to be no room for variation.

I have never heard anyone sing

I am so beautiful

and you are a fool to be in love with me,

even though this notion has surely

crossed the minds of women and men alike.

You are so beautiful, too bad you are a fool

is another one you don't hear.

Or, you are a fool to consider me beautiful.

That one you will never hear, guaranteed.For no particular reason this afternoon

I am listening to Johnny Hartman

whose dark voice can curl around

the concepts on love, beauty, and foolishness

like no one else's can.

It feels like smoke curling up from a cigarette

someone left burning on a baby grand piano

around three o'clock in the morning;

smoke that billows up into the bright lights

while out there in the darkness

some of the beautiful fools have gathered

around little tables to listen,

some with their eyes closed,

others leaning forward into the music

as if it were holding them up,

or twirling the loose ice in a glass,

slipping by degrees into a rhythmic dream.Yes, there is all this foolish beauty,

borne beyond midnight,

that has no desire to go home,

especially now when everyone in the room

is watching the large man with the tenor sax

that hangs from his neck like a golden fish.

He moves forward to the edge of the stage

and hands the instrument down to me

and nods that I should play.

So I put the mouthpiece to my lips

and blow into it with all my living breath.

We are all so foolish,

my long bebop solo begins by saying,

so damn foolish

we have become beautiful without even knowing it.






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