Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Billy Collins' Paradelle

Coming across Collins' "Paradelle for Susan" in the Penguin anthology I'm using in my first-year class, I grouped it with other poems in a love poem batch. It turned out to be a hilarious poem to read aloud. I insisted on sharing the pleasure; eventually five or six students read the poem after I did, and we laughed every time. In the love poem context, what we came up with was that the swings between logic and illogic in the poem were, I guess, like love itself. But personally I'm more interested in the laughs.

Just now I was looking for a recording of the poem. I couldn't find one. I did find surprise, however: the poem is a hoax Collins is playing, which doesn't surprise me, now that I've found out about it.

You can read about all this for yourself, and enjoy it I hope. Whatever you do, make sure you read it aloud, preferably in an intimate moment.

And I stand by what my class and I came up with.


Cassidy McFadzean said...

I just laughed so hard I cried. These should be on the syllabus for every creative writing class!!

Gerald Hill said...

Agreed. I think I'll write one starting, let's see, "I am driving down the highway when a deer jumps across."