Sunday, October 09, 2005

Thank you, Billy Collins

Here's the poem inspired by Billy Collins's visit last week...

We'd Like to Thank The Ready-Mix Concrete Company

In the crowded auditorium
(with the professors
and the farmers
and the students
with tooled leather journals on their laps)
noticing the art nouveau flowers
on the recently renovated walls
I listen with appreciation
to the list of sponsors and donors
who made the event possible
and I look up in surprise at the last name mentioned

the company that created a foundation
on which to support the poet’s visit

who paved the way to bring him
to this former sugar beet town

who smoothed out the bumps
that rose along the way

and cemented the date in the minds
of all who were lucky enough
early enough
organized enough to get a ticket.

There is great hope for a civilization
where in a world of economic depressions
and wars
natural disasters
and famine
concrete companies bring
poets laureate
to stand on wooden platforms
in vintage theaters
to share their poetry
with the gathered people.

Thank you, Ready-Mix Concrete.


camdaram said...

Were you there? I was sitting in the front, the guy with the Yankees hat on. I had him sign my book and we talked baseball for a minute or two. Afterwards, I went to Henry's Pub and wrote for a couple hours. Litany inspired two new poems. *laugh*
Take care,

Megan E. Freeman said...

My husband and I were in the back of the center section. I loved it. I'm reading one of his collections right now, and my hubby just bought me Poetry 180. I'm sorry we couldn't hang out afterward; we had to pick up my daughter and drive back to Lafayette. I was thrilled that it was so well attended.