Friday, July 07, 2017

Poetry Friday: Marginalia, by Billy Collins

Are you a marginalia type? Or a notes-in-a-separate-notebook reader? Do you use post-its? Do you dog-ear? What do you think of book darts? (Thanks, Anne Bogel, these might change my life.) Do you leave your own books in pristine condition, but enjoy eavesdropping on the marginalia of others, via a heavily used book?

Whoever you are, whatever you read, however you scribble, Billy Collins gets it.

by Billy Collins

Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
If I could just get my hands on you,
Kierkegaard or Conor Cruise O'Brien,
they seem to say,
(Read the rest here, at the Poetry Foundation.)


Carol Varsalona has the round up this week at Beyond LiteracyLink.


Brenda Harsham said...

That is a funny poem. Most of the scribblers whose pinpricks distract me are underlining. Sometimes I stop and try to figure out why those words? And it makes no sense!

tanita✿davis said...

Hah! Love this. I don't write in books often, unless they're books on teaching writing which I may use as jumping off points in discussions when I'm teaching workshops. Currently reading Matt Bird's THE SECRETS OF STORY and there are question marks and comments all throughout.

I hope my comments are more cheerleader than ferocious critic, however!!

Kortney Garrison said...

I think you'll like this Ann Kroeker podcast on marginalia:

Kiesha Shepard said...

How funny! You pose some interesting questions. I'm definitely a sticky note queen and a notebook keeper for sure. No notes in the margin for me!

Molly Hogan said...

I love those margin notes and feel like a book has an extra layer of meaning when someone else's thoughts are woven within it. That said, I typically don't write in books except cookbooks and professional books. I "scribble" all over those! Thanks so much sharing this new-to-me Billy Collins poem. It's a treat!

Jane @ said...

Alas, I am guilty of dog-earing books, and leaving them in a tattered state. To me, a well worn book is a well loved book, crammed into backpacks and left with smears and splatters because it was reading during meals and snacks! :) As for notes, though, I have to draw the line - I don't know if I could ever write in a book!

Mary Lee said...

I dog-ear, use stickies, and write notes in the book, in notebooks, or electronic files. Guilty of all charges. And then I'm like that other Billy Collins poem about forgetting!! HA!

Carol Varsalona said...

I love to make notes to myself but I use a variety of formats and items to do so. Billy Collins has such a way with words! I loved his piece about students.