Billy Collins

Last week in Grin & Tonic, we featured a whole week of poems from former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, whose verses demonstrate with wit and brio that poetry -- which we too often think of as a vehicle for reverently beautiful meditations on lofty themes--  can make you laugh out loud as readily as anything Jon Stewart might have said on cable last night.

 

But don't take our word for it.  Try "Hangover":

 

If I were crowned emperor this morning,

every child who is playing Marco Polo

in the swimming pool of this motel,

shouting the name Marco Polo back and forth 

Marco         Polo          Marco          Polo 

would be required to read a biography

of Marco Polo—a long one with fine print—

as well as a history of China and of Venice,

the birthplace of the venerated explorer 

Marco          Polo         Marco          Polo 

after which each child would be quizzed

by me then executed by drowning

regardless how much they managed

to retain about the glorious life and times of  

Marco           Polo         Marco          Polo

 

 

There's more here, here, here and here.  And if you missed it back in 2008, check out our interview with the poet.

July 22: On this day in 1941, on his twelfth wedding anniversary, Eugene O'Neill presented the just-finished manuscript of Long Day's Journey into Night to his wife, Carlotta.

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