There was a time when someone that you know could recite a poem. This is no longer practiced in schools. Who doesn’t know “The Wreck of the Hesperus” not the poem, just the title. As April is National Poetry Month, I selected Billy Collins’s “The Brooklyn Museum of Art”
I will now step over the soft velvet rope
and walk directly into this massive Hudson River
painting and pick my way along the Palisades
with a stick I snapped off a dead tree.
I will skirt the smoky, nestled towns
and seek the path that leads always outward
until I become lost, without hope
of ever finding the way back to the museum.
I will stand on the bluffs in nineteenth-century clothes,
a dwarf among rock, hills, and flowing water,
and I will fish from the banks in a straw hat
which will feel like a brush stroke on my head.
And I will hide in the green covers of forests
so no appreciator of Fredric Edwin Church,
leaning over the soft velvet rope,
will spot my tiny figure moving in the stillness
and cry out, pointing for the others to see,
and be thought mad and led away to a cell
where there is no vaulting landscape to explore,
none of this birdsong that halts me in my tracks,
and no wide curving of this river that draws
my steps toward the misty vanishing point.
There are paintings that invite you inside to explore, just like this one. It is not a Frederick Church painting but another Hudson River School painter Asher B. Durand. A portrait of he and Thomas Cole his teacher done posthumously. The location in Woodstock N.Y. This watering hole still exists but can not be seen from the road. Bill Greenwood artist jeweler is the keeper of this
Title Kindred Spirits I invite all the poets out there to send me something for this month of April. Billy Collins was Poet Laureate in 2001-2003