Tag Archives: Billy Collins

MondayPoem: Silence

A poem by Billy Collins ushers in another week. Collins served two terms as the U.S. Poet Laureate, from 2001-2003. He is known for poetry imbued with leftfield humor and deep insight.

By Billy Collins:

Silence —

There is the sudden silence of the crowd
above a player not moving on the field,
and the silence of the orchid.

The silence of the falling vase
before it strikes the floor,
the silence of the belt when it is not striking the child.

The stillness of the cup and the water in it,
the silence of the moon
and the quiet of the day far from the roar of the sun.

The silence when I hold you to my chest,
the silence of the window above us,
and the silence when you rise and turn away.

And there is the silence of this morning
which I have broken with my pen,
a silence that had piled up all night

like snow falling in the darkness of the house—
the silence before I wrote a word
and the poorer silence now.

Image courtesy of Poetry Foundation.

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