Poets | Poem of the Day | Top 40 | Search | Comments | Privacy
May 27th, 2015 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 288,562 comments.
Billy Collins - Forgetfulness

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,
not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,
well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

Share |

Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 13665 times | Comments and analysis of Forgetfulness by Billy Collins Comments (269)

Forgetfulness - Comments and Information

Poet: Billy Collins
Poem: Forgetfulness
Poem of the Day: May 5 2014

Comment 269 of 269, added on May 5th, 2015 at 11:30 AM.
VdAerheoNAmfEdfrdy

5ObkQI Hello.This article was really fascinating, especially because I was searching for thoughts on this subject last Thursday.

crorkservice fiverr from Lithuania
Comment 268 of 269, added on April 7th, 2015 at 12:22 PM.
kMbqkSIlDDEJmdy

IXIbBW whoah this blog is fantastic i love reading your articles. Keep up the great paintings! You already know, many people are hunting around for this info, you could aid them greatly.

crorkz from Kazakhstan
Comment 267 of 269, added on April 6th, 2015 at 9:21 PM.
VxVDpPQQXBJ

EO86yK Hi my friend! I want to say that this post is awesome, nice written and include approximately all important infos. I would like to see more posts like this.

mattew crorkz from Spain

Are you looking for more information on this poem? Perhaps you are trying to analyze it? The poem, Forgetfulness, has received 269 comments. Click here to read them, and perhaps post a comment of your own.

Poem Info

Collins Info
Copyright © 2000-2015 Gunnar Bengtsson. All Rights Reserved. Links