Friday, June 05, 2015

Poetry Friday -- Silence

by Billy Collins

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.

(you can read the rest of the poem here)

I'd like to add a stanza to this poem about the silence after the busloads of cheering children round the corner and disappear from sight, the sudden unnatural silence of the school building and our empty classrooms.

And I'd add another stanza about the silence of the house the next morning as we get reacquainted with each other over a cup of tea and to-do lists.

I would finish with a stanza on my knees in the garden, weeding the beets and zinnias, the silence broken only by the buzz of a hummingbird  in the coral bells.

Buffy has the Poetry Friday roundup today at Buffy's Blog, and the July-December call for roundup hosts is here.


  1. oh may your reacquaintance with your house be absolutely lovely....

  2. Gorgeous poem, and love your own "silences" so astutely observed and recorded. Enjoy your summer!

  3. I love the end of school silences you added. We get out June 17.

  4. That is lovely. Enjoy.

  5. Love your silence additions. Wishing you joyful silence this summer.

  6. I didn't expect it to be so unbearably sad. :-(

    Enjoy your summer!

  7. Beautiful poem, as well as your notions to add.... Thanks for sharing.
    My daughter said goodbye to her third-graders today after her very first year of teaching. I know the day included both tears and a dance party.

  8. I'd add those stanzas too. This sudden silence of summer is both welcomed and sad. I miss my kiddos already.

  9. I only taught two years, but that silence of the classroom after the last bell of the year...definitely a poem, a melancholy, empty poem. Thanks for sharing this wonderful Billy Collins poem:>)

  10. Love your additions. They are familiar memories from my years as a teacher.
    Thanks for sharing "Silence". It's beautiful.

  11. I'd like to read that poem, should you ever write it. Congratulations on bringing another year to a close. I know how bittersweet the moment is. May your summer be filled with peaceful silence and grand adventures.

  12. I remember practically SLURPING up silence when it rarely appeared in the years the kids were small. Now, I appreciate other quiet things, such as how blogs enable us to talk to each other without necessarily giving up our respective silences. And how Billy Collins lays out all these silences next to one another, in a row, so we can truly hear them. May your summer have space for as many stanzas of silence as you need.

  13. Than, you for sharing your stanzas. Welcome to summer!

  14. What a beautiful way to end my weekend, Mary Lee. Thanks! Off to bed to consider the silence of the moon... at least until my noisy dreams get into the picture.

  15. Oh, that Billy Collins. He always says such powerful things so simply. I hadn't really thought about silence like this.

    I enjoyed your added stanzas. You are right about the strange silence of a school without the children.



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