Billy Collins’ Brilliant Shadows
The Japanese language is vague with an avoidance of pronouns and virtue placed on incomplete thoughts. Yet Japanese proved to be as equally expressive as any language I knew. Japanese is like my childhood attic which was scary pitch dark on entering, but within minutes, my eyes adjusted revealing many shades of grays and shadows around antiques which gave my eyes and heart a playground of thoughts.
Some poetry is vague, private, trippy self-talk which their authors rationalize with the excuse of “poetic license”. A post-structuralist curse, perhaps. On recently challenging one such poem, the author ironically chastised me by directing me to Billy Collin’s poem “Introduction to Poetry” where Billy scolds the heady dissection of a poem down to one “real meaning” and thus sacrificing reality. Ironically, I agree with Billy’s poem which is actually clear, full of rich feeling and understandable on many levels. In fact, it was nothing like the poem I challenged as vapidly vague. Never having heard of Collins, I read more of his poems — they are superb! What an ironic introduction to the subtle but brilliant shadows of fine meaning-pregnant poetry, not lacking it. Thank you!
shade for hunters of pollen
borne back for honey
— by Sabio Lantz, April 2017
Prompt: Toni, at d’Verse Poets Pub, invites us to write a Haibun using the concept of shadows. If you are interested in some more of Billy Collin’s Poems, here are some I loved today:
- The Afterlife : we get what we expect
- Aimless Love : cutting, cynical, hopeful, mystical – complex but clear
- “More than a Woman” : ah, music!