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Directions Analysis

Author: poem of Billy Collins Type: poem Views: 13

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You know the brick path in the back of the house,

the one you see from the kitchen window,

the one that bends around the far end of the garden

where all the yellow primroses are?

And you know how if you leave the path

and walk into the woods you come

to a heap of rocks, probably pushed

down during the horrors of the Ice Age,

and a grove of tall hemlocks, dark green now

against the light-brown fallen leaves?

And farther on, you know

the small footbridge with the broken railing

and if you go beyond the you arrive

at the bottom of sheep's head hill?

Well, if you start climbing, and you

might have to grab on to a sapling

when the going gets steep,

you will eventually come to a long stone

ridge with a border of pine trees

which is a high as you can go

and a good enough place to stop.

The best time for this is late afternoon

en the sun strobes through

the columns of trees as you are hiking up,

and when you find an agreeable rock

to sit on, you will be able to see

the light pouring down into the woods

and breaking into the shapes and tones

of things and you will hear nothing

but a sprig of a birdsong or leafy

falling of a cone or t through the trees,

and if this is your day you might even

spot a hare or feel the wing-beats of geese

driving overhead toward some destination.

But it is hard to speak of these things

how the voices of light enter the body

and begin to recite their stories

how the earth holds us painfully against

ts breast made of humus and brambles

how we will soon be gone regard

the entities that continue to return

greener than ever, spring water flowing

through a meadow and the shadows of clouds

passing over the hills and the ground

where we stand in the tremble of thought

taking the vast outside into ourselves.

Still, let me know before you set out.

Come knock on my door

and I will walk with you as far as the garden

with one hand on your shoulder.

I will even watch after you and not turn back

to the house until you disappear

into the crowd of maple and ash,

heading up toward the hill,

percing the ground with your stick.

Submitted by Sarah


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: Directions :.

This poem's extended metaphor successfully gives exactly what the title of the poem suggests, "directions".

| Posted on 2008-05-11 | by a guest

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