Poets | Bookstore | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
April 18th, 2014 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 103,948 comments.
Billy Collins - Candle Hat

In most self-portraits it is the face that dominates:
Cezanne is a pair of eyes swimming in brushstrokes,
Van Gogh stares out of a halo of swirling darkness,
Rembrant looks relieved as if he were taking a breather
from painting The Blinding of Sampson.

But in this one Goya stands well back from the mirror
and is seen posed in the clutter of his studio
addressing a canvas tilted back on a tall easel.

He appears to be smiling out at us as if he knew
we would be amused by the extraordinary hat on his head
which is fitted around the brim with candle holders,
a device that allowed him to work into the night.

You can only wonder what it would be like
to be wearing such a chandelier on your head
as if you were a walking dining room or concert hall.

But once you see this hat there is no need to read
any biography of Goya or to memorize his dates.

To understand Goya you only have to imagine him
lighting the candles one by one, then placing
the hat on his head, ready for a night of work.

Imagine him surprising his wife with his new invention,
the laughing like a birthday cake when she saw the glow.

Imagine him flickering through the rooms of his house
with all the shadows flying across the walls.

Imagine a lost traveler knocking on his door
one dark night in the hill country of Spain.
"Come in, " he would say, "I was just painting myself,"
as he stood in the doorway holding up the wand of a brush,
illuminated in the blaze of his famous candle hat.

Share |

Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 258 times | Comments and analysis of Candle Hat by Billy Collins Comments (56)

Candle Hat - Comments and Information

Poet: Billy Collins
Poem: Candle Hat
Poem of the Day: Jun 15 2009

Comment 56 of 56, added on October 31st, 2013 at 8:51 PM.
sBCvYlKxhQsfSfV

AJJKFd I really like and appreciate your blog article.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

top seo guys from Brunei Darussalam, Negara
Comment 55 of 56, added on October 25th, 2013 at 5:21 PM.
mlmauNrdrOOWehpTc

gT2ZOE Thank you ever so for you post.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

link building from Finland
Comment 54 of 56, added on October 16th, 2013 at 10:26 AM.
DXdQNGlkPCmWvmPl

SpDKi9 I really enjoy the article.Really thank you! Really Great.

link building team from Saint Kitts and Nevis

Are you looking for more information on this poem? Perhaps you are trying to analyze it? The poem, Candle Hat, has received 56 comments. Click here to read them, and perhaps post a comment of your own.

Poem Info

Collins Info
Copyright © 2000-2012 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links | Bookstore