Billy Collins. From the podium simply a fine tuned riot.

Douglas Blair 1951 (London)



Fishing On The Susquehanna In July
by Billy Collins
Billy Collins


I have never been fishing on the Susquehanna
or on any river for that matter
to be perfectly honest.
Not in July or any month
have I had the pleasure -- if it is a pleasure --
of fishing on the Susquehanna.
I am more likely to be found
in a quiet room like this one --
a painting of a woman on the wall,
a bowl of tangerines on the table --
trying to manufacture the sensation
of fishing on the Susquehanna.
There is little doubt
that others have been fishing
on the Susquehanna,
rowing upstream in a wooden boat,
sliding the oars under the water
then raising them to drip in the light.
But the nearest I have ever come to
fishing on the Susquehanna
was one afternoon in a museum in Philadelphia,
when I balanced a little egg of time
in front of a painting
in which that river curled around a bend
under a blue cloud-ruffled sky,
dense trees along the banks,
and a fellow with a red bandana
sitting in a small, green
flat-bottom boat
holding the thin whip of a pole.
That is something I am unlikely
ever to do, I remember
saying to myself and the person next to me.
Then I blinked and moved on
to other American scenes
of haystacks, water whitening over rocks,
even one of a brown hare
who seemed so wired with alertness
I imagined him springing right out of the frame.

About this poem

Not Douglas, but Billy’s genius. One of this era’s masters.

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Written on January 27, 2023

Submitted by dougb.72572 on January 27, 2023

Modified by dougb.72572 on January 27, 2023

1:21 min read
35

Quick analysis:

Scheme abb cdxxdCxexxeCxfcgdxcccxfxaxcxgxhdhxxxxxx
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,337
Words 270
Stanzas 2
Stanza Lengths 3, 39

Douglas Blair

Blogging poems since 2008. Once a lawyer in general practice. Then 32 years as Shipper in a heavy metal fabricating plant. Retired 2022. Married and father of two. Poet. Hiker. Harmonica Busker. Gospel enthusiast. Photographer. http://shootdempix.blogspot.com/ more…

All Douglas Blair poems | Douglas Blair Books

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1 Comment
  • dougb.72572
    He stands with a shoulder tipped puckishly…talking about admission to a play or session of learning…slavishly hard to acquire…then up pop words with fire…observance, rib poking, light joking…or apologies for foibles he can’t ever subdue…or want to….Billy Collins. 
    LikeReply1 year ago

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"Billy Collins. From the podium simply a fine tuned riot." Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 Jul 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/149364/billy-collins.-from-the-podium-simply-a-fine-tuned-riot.>.

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