The Country – Billy Collins Animated Poetry



the country I wondered about you when you told me never to leave a box of wooden strike-anywhere matches just lying around the house because the mice might get into them and start a fire but your face was absolutely straight when you twisted the lid down on the round tin where the matches you said are always stowed who could sleep that night who could whisk away the thought of the one unlikely Mouse padding along a cold water pipe behind the floral wallpaper gripping a single wooden match between the needles of his teeth who could not see him rounding a corner the blue tip scratching against a rough-hewn beam the sudden flare and the creature for one bright shining moment suddenly thrust ahead of his time now a firestarter now a torch bearer in a forgotten ritual little brown druid illuminating some ancient night and who could fail to notice lit up in the blazing insulation the tiny looks of wonderment on the faces of his fellow mice one-time inhabitants of what once was your house in the country

44 thoughts on “The Country – Billy Collins Animated Poetry

  1. I love this poem, but I have to say I just posted this comment about it, on Facebook:
    "He can't read his own work for shit, though. I think that's at least 50% of being a poet, to be frank – if you can't 'perform' your own works well, you can't expect people to ever take you seriously… Performance poetry IS poetry, in my opinion. You can't expect other people to understand your work if you can't 'walk them through it', eh? He has virtually no inflection, in his voice. It's like listening to Stephen Hawking's voice-synthesiser."
    I'm a poet, you know. I'm Britain's Greatest Living Club-Footed Poet, actually… You can buy my works on Amazon, if you like.

  2. I absolutely love everything by this man!

    –Sarah
    (Maker of books and mini films and video poems)

  3. there needs to be a 10 hour version of the brown rat dance it is  supa beasty

  4. Who is the expert when it comes about poetry
    ARE YOU ?
    Very nice indeed for no s____e at all or whether i wanted to hear about s_____x

  5. Then write some better poems. Apparently right now you aren't even worth the monotone, let alone the animation.

  6. Haha! I like when he's waving the match around and the other mice are cheering XD

  7. Yeah, great poet and voice…. And the animation is fantastic. Matches poem. Who is this director? And can I get him to do some of my poems?

  8. @angiolip It is indeed Billy Collins' talking / reading his own poem. I had the honor of attending a Mercer Press event in Atlanta where he read three poems. He is remarkable via the use of his dry and monotone cadence in rendering a poem to the level of mesmerizing.

  9. its a brilliant poem..very observant, very imaginative and beautifully quirky…

  10. @oruga101 I think it is a computer that is "reading" it. Very similar to the Mac one in any case.

  11. @acari27 I guess some people just don't appreciate his style. They want to hear something that's more theatrical, they want every poet to be a slam poet. I often find Billy Collins voice very entrancing and full of subtle variations that mean a lot.

  12. @DwiteTheSpriteKnight
    I'm not going to put time and effort into making a recording of myself reading a poem by a poet who I don't even like. If I was going to record myself reading, it would be of a poem that is more suited to my tastes and ideals, like Mr. Flood's Party or Birches.

  13. @oruga101 I like the combination of the reader sounding so serious while reading something so absurd. While there wasn't any dramatic vocal variety I don't think it was excessively monotone or dull. It all depends what you're looking for though doesn't it. Maybe you could post a reading of this poem just to show how you would like it to be read so that we can make the comparison.

  14. @themredweirdoshow come on don't let the facts get in the way of a good story (-: I don't think it's one of Billy Collins best but I don't think I've ever seen a bad poem written by him.

  15. billy collins has the best reading voice i dont care what anyone here says…the people that dont get it probably dont READ full stop

  16. The poem is a little funny, but the Matrix-style techno mouse rave had me laughing out loud.

  17. I love this poem. I think this poem is about our fear of ignorant or inexperience people sabotaging our thoughtful efforts in a stroke of heedlessness

  18. the delivery is is always so monotone and stilted which i feel works better in your video for "Forgetfulness", still though this is great work. its almost mesmerizing; it has a calming, trancelike effect on me

  19. Awesome poem and fantastic animation. *watches and listens to for the third time today*

  20. i love lanyard and all the rest but this is my favourite-born to read borne to be read

  21. I Love the poem and the animation that goes with it! Wish i could give you more than 5 stars~~:))

  22. I wish someone would animate my poems and read them in a dull monotone.

  23. that was so vivid i cud picture it even withoutb the animation,, felt the mice was like in an olypic games except his moment of glory, although laragely accidental affected his fellow mice negatively

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