Billy Collins – Animated Poetry

10 04 2012

I came across Billy Collins, a 2-time U.S. Poet Laureate who in conjunction with the Sundance Channel brought his poetry to animated film.  What a cool concept.  It was fun to watch the videos, but even more so, it was awesome to see how the animation complimented his poetry versus the other way around.  This presentation on a TED Talk is about 15-minutes long.  If you have a chance and an interest, I would highly recommend you watch the video.  I hope in some way whether you write poetry or not, you will find creative inspiration in projects in your life, your work, or even in your relationships with your family and children.  I have also included Collin’s poem: Forgetfulness which is featured in the first animation.  Enjoy.



The name of the author is the first to go

followed obediently by the title, the plot,

the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel

which suddenly becomes one you have never read,

never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor

decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,

to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye

and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,

and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,

the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,

it is not poised on the tip of your tongue,

not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river

whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall,

well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those

who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night

to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.

No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted

out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

                                                                       Billy Collins



10 responses

10 04 2012

How wonderful. I love this connection between inspiration, creativity and thoughts. Goosebumps and I had to laugh about that last poem. Thanks for this post Kris. 🙂

10 04 2012
Kris Kennedy

Glad you liked it…me too…by the way, your creating and experimenting with different inks is so cool…I am so inspired by you, too.

13 04 2012

Well, that poem certainly struck home! At least I still remember my husband’s name. Well, I did this morning…….

16 04 2012
American Life in Poetry: Column 369 BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE – “Red Balloon Rising” by Laurel Blossom « The Nightly Poem

[…] Billy Collins – Animated Poetry ( Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. american life in poetrycolumn 369Laurel BlossomPoetryPoetry FoundationRed Balloon RisingSouth Carolinated kooserUnited States Poet Laureate ← Previous post Contact Me Pissed off? Bored? Got a suggestion? Contact me directly: Subscribe to The Nightly Poem: […]

17 04 2012
paul davis

Brilliant! I’m a poetry klutz. Billy Collins draws forth my inner poetry ice dancer.

17 04 2012
Kris Kennedy

Paul, so glad you sent a comment…I have been trying to comment on your blog regarding your wonderful photos…the Liberia photos are amazing…what a story in pictures…and your macro photos as well…a whole other story…thanks so much for stopping by…yes, I thought Billy Collins was inspiring…

17 04 2012
paul davis

Hi, Kris
Thanks for your kind words. I haven’t turned comments on, but I think I should. I do like sharing comments with others.

17 04 2012
Kris Kennedy

Yes, Paul, you should – smile

18 04 2012
barbara mesle

poetry klutz?

18 04 2012
Kris Kennedy

What do you think? I think Paul Davis….was implying creating and dabbling…I thought it was a humbly, great expression. Thanks so much for stopping by.

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