Reciting Poetry

I always wish to be the type of person that can recite a poem for any occasion or quote passionate literature at the drop of a hat. My husband can recite a couple poems by memory thanks to a passionate grade school teacher and it never fails to make me smile. I can barely tell a joke without ruining the punchline (mostly just by laughing too hard) and while i have a few Shel Silverstein poems up my sleeve (good old Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickle Me Too) I cannot conjure up dreamy lines of romance or emotional stanzas. So this little guy impressed me and makes me curious - how much time did the parents spend repeating the poem to him - did he like the poem or does he just say it because they ask him to? Does he also mix in some Dr Suess or does he only go highbrow?

Here is the poem for reference:

You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman's tea cup.
But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and - somehow - the wine.

Billy Collins

Found at the always inspiring even*cleveland

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