Five Points, Vol. 21, no. 1

Sample Content

Billy Collins
Addressing the Heart

Here’s a practice that’s fallen out of fashion,
the poet ardently invoking the heart.

O, heart, he calls. Dear heart, she cries,
all caught in the clutches of love.

Never mind that the heart
is about to be scolded
for its long personal history of foolishness.

Silly heart! the poet chides.
There you go again,
the poet throws up her hands.

Be still, a wise voice would caution
before a kiss at the door
after walking her home in a light snow.

Poor, poor heart!
no one talks to you anymore,
much less to the lower organs.
O, liver! My foolish lungs!

We no longer even speak to the moon
or the sky, the woods, or the hills
we’re so used to murmuring to no one
in the many rooms off the hallways within.

O Derwent! cried Wordsworth to a childhood river,
and his mighty poem was underway in its flow.