BY BILLY COLLINS
Reprinted with permission from "The Dreadest Feast: Authors on Long lasting the holiday seasonInch printed by Stewart, Tabori & Chang edited by Taylor Plimpton and Michele Clarke.
1. Thanksgiving Morning
The entered multiple blades from the blender
attempted to dry on the counter.
The corkscrew unsheathed and prepared
to go in whatever cannot resist its twisting.
The carving knife waiting alongside
the knife sharpener because of its abrasive touch,
Nowhere box of matches, the white-colored candle lights.
The branch of dry leaves introduced in
Together with vines clustered with red and yellow berries,
Which suggests the anonymous poultry,
potential trussed with string
however soaking around the cold porch
inside a bucket of salted cold water,
in brine, because they prefer to say this season.
So we mustn’t disregard the oven,
radiating inside a corner from the kitchen
set initially at 500 levels
then decreased almost mercifully to 350,
still hot enough to lift the bird
into the health of sacrificial edibility,
yet lacking what can incinerate a magazine,
the oven that ingested the witch and Sylvia Plath
and today the oven in our pleasure,
our forks and glasses blindly elevated.
2. The Range, a Thanksgiving Poem
Outdoors, the scene was suitable for the growing season,
heavy grey clouds and merely enough wind
to blow lower all of the the yellow leaves.
However the house was different on that day,
so distant in the other houses,
just like a planet lived on by merely a dozen people
with similar surname and also the same nose
rotating gradually on its invisible axis.
Bad you could not exist
however, you were flying through space by yourself asteroid
together with your arm around an uncle.
You’d have unwrapped your scarf
and tossed your coat on the top from the pile
then lifted a glass of vino
like a small man discovered a screen having a ball.
You’d often hear me
saying elegance with my elbows around the tablecloth
among the twins put an evening meal roll over the room in the other.
Billy Collins: Two poems about what dogs think (probably)
Dh nlghtnd 1: Here's what ALL dogs think: That human gives me food, I won't bite him, I will wag my tail. That human doesn't give me food, I'll take a nap.
Dh nlghtnd 1: +Ana Q you can't prove me wrong because you can only conjecture that you have understanding of them.
Ana Q: What I can prove is dogs cannot be interpreted in an anthropocentric way. That they have three thoughts/concepts flying around their minds and it is all they come down to. That means, if left to their own devices, they will day in a week or two, cause of no food.
alwaysuseless: Reading the comments, I see some people have no appreciation for anthropomorphizing & somewhat whimsical humor. Yes, we must always be serious & literally accurate. Especially poetry should not be allowed to be funny or contradict our assumptions, including about what animals "think of us." These poems were as much about people as about dogs, & as such, were right on target. That's why they're funny. One of my favorite Billy Collins poems about a dog is called "Dharma." See The Best American Poetry 1999. I bet the negative critics won't bother, because they don't actually read or like good poetry. Well done, Mr. Collins. Thank you.
alwaysuseless: +Aaron Jacobs Well said, although I disagree. I doubt that these poems present what the poet actually thinks dogs think. On the contrary, I think the poet assumes a persona & presents for our amusement & pleasure what the imagined narrator thinks dogs think. From this POV, criticizing the poem for lack of "accuracy" misses the joke & the whole point. The poet may be right to suggest that a beloved pet might not have liked his owner as much as the owner thinks, but beyond that possibility, the poems are meant as humor, not as a serious attempt at realistic canine psychology.
Feasible: This is stupid! the first one; dogs have no concept the length of lifetimes, and the second dog; any vet would tell you that dogs do sometimes have depression, but it tends to be quite obvious. stupid arty bullshit!
Candyliz2003: Dude, dogs absolutely have a concept of time – they KNOW when their master should be up, or home. They learn this through experience just like you did. Cats do also.
The Prince Of Puppyvil: I found this hilarious
Shawn Ravenfire: The second dog sounds more like a cat.
alwaysuseless: "… that everyone here can read and write\nthe dogs in poetry, the cats\nand all the others in prose."\nHaha, nice dig at the dominance of prose and at cats & humans, and a claim of superiority for poetry & dogs—consistent with the conceit that the poem was written by a dog. Love his poems that take you to a place by the end that is unexpected or says more than the topic originally suggested.
MrMentalflossed: this is true but i was thinking as he read it ,.. he could have ended it at the first " "i never liked you " and left it there ,it would have had a more profound punchier feel to it ,..lol
alwaysuseless: +MrMentalflossed "I never liked you" gets the biggest laugh, because it's the turning point, the shock that the beloved pet didn't reciprocate the owner's feelings. But to just come to a turning point and then stop would be strange, abrupt, & surely unsatisfying for most readers or listeners. Once you turn, you need to go somewhere with it, and the poet does a good job of it.
Josie Fox: I would be depressed if I were his dog.
Kailyn Dekker: Billy Collins is one of the most acclaimed poets of our time. It was nice to hear him read instead of reading his text. :D
BoTy Dogs: hmmm made me think^^, for me dogs are like us people..
Brick Tamland: this is sadder than the sarah mclaughlin commercials
GRiMHOLD: "In the eyes of an angel…Blahblahblaaaaah!"
Brick Tamland: +GRiMHOLD i think it's arms not eyes
Bruce Banner: This sucks