Daily Archives: May 16, 2008

Poetry Friday: Morning – Billy Collins


We’ve been learning about odes in my class this week. When I asked the kids if they had ever heard the word “ode” before and if they had any idea what it meant, one of them raised his hand and said (in complete earnestness), “Yeah, an ode is something that smells bad.” I swear it’s surprises like that that keep a teacher alive half way through May. So I’ve found an ode for Poetry Friday today, one of my favourites: Morning by Billy Collins. In fact, I am in complete agreement with Billy on the superiority of morning compared to all other times of the day. I am a morning person – as much as my tired teacher brain is attempting to convince me otherwise these days. I will continue to repeat that phrase, “I am a morning person. I am a morning person…” (between cups of strong coffee) all the way til June.  

Morning – by Billy Collins

Why do we bother with the rest of the day,
the swale of the afternoon
the sudden dip into evening,
then night with his notorious perfumes
his many-pointed stars?
This is the best –
throwing off the light covers,
feet on the cold floor,
and buzzing around the house on espresso—

maybe a splash of water on the face,
a palmful of vitamins—
but mostly buzzing around the house on espresso,
dictionary and atlas open on the rug,
the typewriter waiting for the key of the head,
a cello on the radio…

That is what I’m hoping my upcoming long weekend will look like. Please do read the last stanza over at Poetry Foundation.

(photo photo © Darren Hester for openphoto.net CC:Attribution)