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Does your kid recite poetry?

November 15, 2010

I had never read this poem – “Litany” by Billy Collins – but it is quite beautiful and the kid reciting it is pretty clever:



Litany


You are the bread and the knife,

the crystal goblet and the wine.

You are the dew on the morning grass

and the burning wheel of the sun.

You are the white apron of the baker,

and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

 

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,

the plums on the counter,

or the house of cards.

And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.

There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

 

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,

maybe even the pigeon on the general’s head,

but you are not even close

to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

 

And a quick look in the mirror will show

that you are neither the boots in the corner

nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

 

It might interest you to know,

speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,

that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

 

I also happen to be the shooting star,

the evening paper blowing down an alley

and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

 

I am also the moon in the trees

and the blind woman’s tea cup.

 

But don’t worry, I’m not the bread and the knife.

You are still the bread and the knife.

You will always be the bread and the knife,

not to mention the crystal goblet and–somehow–the wine.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 16, 2010 3:07 pm

    i’ve never been a huge fan of reading poetry, but hearing about this on NPR made me want to pick up some Billy Collins next time i go to the library/bookstore. glad you decided to share with your readers!

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