Fishing On The Susquehanna In July

Poem By Billy Collins

I have never been fishing on the Susquehanna
or on any river for that matter
to be perfectly honest.

Not in July or any month
have I had the pleasure -- if it is a pleasure --
of fishing on the Susquehanna.

I am more likely to be found
in a quiet room like this one --
a painting of a woman on the wall,

a bowl of tangerines on the table --
trying to manufacture the sensation
of fishing on the Susquehanna.

There is little doubt
that others have been fishing
on the Susquehanna,

rowing upstream in a wooden boat,
sliding the oars under the water
then raising them to drip in the light.

But the nearest I have ever come to
fishing on the Susquehanna
was one afternoon in a museum in Philadelphia,

when I balanced a little egg of time
in front of a painting
in which that river curled around a bend

under a blue cloud-ruffled sky,
dense trees along the banks,
and a fellow with a red bandana

sitting in a small, green
flat-bottom boat
holding the thin whip of a pole.

That is something I am unlikely
ever to do, I remember
saying to myself and the person next to me.

Then I blinked and moved on
to other American scenes
of haystacks, water whitening over rocks,

even one of a brown hare
who seemed so wired with alertness
I imagined him springing right out of the frame.

Comments about Fishing On The Susquehanna In July

Well imagined and well narrated poem through keeping to indoors and create creative things like painting and writing...a master piece by master poet 10++
rowing upstream in a wooden boat, sliding the oars under the water then raising them to drip in the light. ......excellent thrilling; superbly written this poem on fishing in life; poet greatly enjoyed the fishing on the Susquehanna in July the month of rainy day; sitting on the wooden boat fishing is very enjoyable part in life for anyone; pleasure to read this poem
The poem begins with an honest confession of the poet's not having ever fished on any river, and then goes on with an imagined scenario of his fishing in the Susquehanna River. Loved the concept. Congratulations on the poem's selection as the 'Modern Poem of the Day'!
Billy makes me smile, as he often does with his poems, as I revisit this one. Among the things that make me fond of his poetry are the detailed descriptions—as in raising the oars " to drip in the light" and " water whitening over rocks." Maybe because I'm not interested in fishing myself—though I can see why others might be—I can be particularly resonate with this poem. -GK
Upstream! ! ! With the muse of a curled river! Musing along with the paintings of nature. Thanks for sharing this poem with us.

3,1 out of 5
78 total ratings

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