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I Ask You Analysis



Author: poem of Billy Collins Type: poem Views: 7

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What scene would I want to be enveloped in

more than this one,

an ordinary night at the kitchen table,

floral wallpaper pressing in,

white cabinets full of glass,

the telephone silent,

a pen tilted back in my hand?



It gives me time to think

about all that is going on outside--

leaves gathering in corners,

lichen greening the high grey rocks,

while over the dunes the world sails on,

huge, ocean-going, history bubbling in its wake.



But beyond this table

there is nothing that I need,

not even a job that would allow me to row to work,

or a coffee-colored Aston Martin DB4

with cracked green leather seats.



No, it's all here,

the clear ovals of a glass of water,

a small crate of oranges, a book on Stalin,

not to mention the odd snarling fish

in a frame on the wall,

and the way these three candles--

each a different height--

are singing in perfect harmony.



So forgive me

if I lower my head now and listen

to the short bass candle as he takes a solo

while my heart

thrums under my shirt--

frog at the edge of a pond--

and my thoughts fly off to a province

made of one enormous sky

and about a million empty branches.






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