How can I have been so dumb as not to have shared with you some Billy Collins poetry? You are probably as familiar with it as I am, but it was only when my friend and colleague Vinita read In the Room of a Thousand Miles the other day that I suddenly realized we’d done none of his poems. Let’s put that to an end right now.
In the Room of a Thousand Miles
I like writing about where I am,
where I happen to be sitting,
the humidity or the clouds,
the scene outside the window—
a pink tree in bloom,
a neighbor walking his small, nervous dog.
And if I am drinking
a cup of tea at the time
or a small glass of whiskey,
I will find a line to put it on.
My wife hands these poems back to me
with a sigh.
She thinks I ought to be opening up
my aperture to let in
the wild rhododendrons of Ireland,
the sun-blanched stadiums of Rome,
that waterclock in Bruges—
the world beyond my inkwell.
You can read the entire poem here.