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Billy Collins - For Bartleby The Scrivener

"Every time we get a big gale around here
     some people just refuse to batten down."

we estimate that

ice skating into a sixty
mile an hour wind, fully exerting
the legs and swinging arms

you will be pushed backward
an inch every twenty minutes.

in a few days, depending on
the size of the lake,
the backs of your skates
will touch land.

you will then fall on your ass
and be blown into the forest.

if you gather enough speed
by flapping your arms
and keeping your skates pointed

you will catch up to other
flying people who refused to batten down.
you will exchange knowing waves
as you ride the great wind north.

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 7517 times | Comments and analysis of For Bartleby The Scrivener by Billy Collins Comments (2)

For Bartleby The Scrivener - Comments and Information

Poet: Billy Collins
Poem: For Bartleby The Scrivener
Poem of the Day: Nov 21 2007

Comment 2 of 2, added on November 21st, 2007 at 10:42 PM.

Billy Collins is my silent mentor in the art and craft of poetry. He has no imitators, but I'm trying hard! This poem takes an ordinary experience, that is expressed in hyperbole, and turns it into a work of art. It is not about the wind, but the suceptibility of humans to succumb to the obvious, as if it were some kind of mystery! And they do it en mass!

art chapman from United States
Comment 1 of 2, added on September 17th, 2005 at 12:12 PM.

Yet another display of brilliance from Billy!

joe from United States

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