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Billy Collins. From the podium simply a fine tuned riot.
Douglas Blair 1951 (London)
Fishing On The Susquehanna In July
by 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
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.
Written on January 27, 2023
Submitted by dougb.72572 on January 27, 2023
Modified by dougb.72572
- 1:21 min read
- 21 Views
|Closest metre||Iambic tetrameter|
|Stanza Lengths||3, 39|
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Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:
"Billy Collins. From the podium simply a fine tuned riot." Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 Mar. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/149364/billy-collins.-from-the-podium-simply-a-fine-tuned-riot.>.
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