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November 28th, 2014 - we have 234 poets, 8,025 poems and 279,625 comments.
Billy Collins - Nostalgia

Remember the 1340's? We were doing a dance called the Catapult.
You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade,
and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular,
the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.
Everyone would pause for beer and onions in the afternoon,
and at night we would play a game called "Find the Cow."
Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.

Where has the summer of 1572 gone? Brocade and sonnet
marathons were the rage. We used to dress up in the flags
of rival baronies and conquer one another in cold rooms of stone.
Out on the dance floor we were all doing the Struggle
while your sister practiced the Daphne all alone in her room.
We borrowed the jargon of farriers for our slang.
These days language seems transparent a badly broken code.

The 1790's will never come again. Childhood was big.
People would take walks to the very tops of hills
and write down what they saw in their journals without speaking.
Our collars were high and our hats were extremely soft.
We would surprise each other with alphabets made of twigs.
It was a wonderful time to be alive, or even dead.

I am very fond of the period between 1815 and 1821.
Europe trembled while we sat still for our portraits.
And I would love to return to 1901 if only for a moment,
time enough to wind up a music box and do a few dance steps,
or shoot me back to 1922 or 1941, or at least let me
recapture the serenity of last month when we picked
berries and glided through afternoons in a canoe.

Even this morning would be an improvement over the present.
I was in the garden then, surrounded by the hum of bees
and the Latin names of flowers, watching the early light
flash off the slanted windows of the greenhouse
and silver the limbs on the rows of dark hemlocks.

As usual, I was thinking about the moments of the past,
letting my memory rush over them like water
rushing over the stones on the bottom of a stream.
I was even thinking a little about the future, that place
where people are doing a dance we cannot imagine,
a dance whose name we can only guess.

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 9408 times | Comments and analysis of Nostalgia by Billy Collins Comments (2)

Nostalgia - Comments and Information

Poet: Billy Collins
Poem: Nostalgia

Comment 2 of 2, added on January 7th, 2014 at 10:07 AM.
Karen Jordan

Thank you Karen Jordan from the United States, this really helped me understand. I applaud you for being the only person to comment. Thank you again Karen Jordan from the United States.

Olivia Kennedy from United States
Comment 1 of 2, added on December 20th, 2005 at 2:04 PM.

I like this poem because Billy really nails it on the head with this subject. Many people are always whining about the old days but things did stink in the past it's a constant rebalance of pros and cons about all aspects of life.

Karen Jordan from United States

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