Thursday, July 2, 2020

Poetry on Thursday

Today's poetry isn't fancy or complicated, it just struck me as a nice summer poem.

The Chairs That No One Sits In
Billy Collins

You see them on porches and on lawns
down by the lakeside,
usually arranged in pairs implying a couple

who might sit there and look out
at the water or the big shade trees.
The trouble is you never see anyone

sitting in these forlorn chairs
though at one time it must have seemed   
a good place to stop and do nothing for a while.

Sometimes there is a little table
between the chairs where no one   
is resting a glass or placing a book facedown.

It might be none of my business,
but it might be a good idea one day
for everyone who placed those vacant chairs

on a veranda or a dock to sit down in them
for the sake of remembering
whatever it was they thought deserved

to be viewed from two chairs   
side by side with a table in between.
The clouds are high and massive that day.

The woman looks up from her book.
The man takes a sip of his drink.
Then there is nothing but the sound of their looking,

the lapping of lake water, and a call of one bird
then another, cries of joy or warning—
it passes the time to wonder which.

Billy Collins, Poetry magazine, November 2008

I intend to sit in those chairs this weekend, looking up from my book, sipping my drink, and
listening to the calls of birds. I hope you find the time to do the same.


  1. This poem seems particularly well suited to our current times. We're all stuck at home -- why not take this opportunity to sit in those chairs? I hope you enjoy the time in your chair this weekend.

  2. I think this is a lovely thought, Bonny. I wish I had 2 chairs waiting for me beside a lake today!

  3. What a beautiful lake picture! And yes - do enjoy your time in your chair this weekend. I'll be sitting in mine and sipping, listening, being at peace.

  4. So true! Sit down and enjoy the peace and view. Stay safe.

  5. Well! Had I a lake and a view like that, you better believe I'd plop me down in the chair, with a book, just on the off chance that I'd get bored -hah! - looking at the lake, trees, sky... Lovely. Thanks!
    Have a great weekend!

  6. "then there is nothing but the sound of their looking..." brilliant! Thank you for sharing!

    Have an amazing weekend!

  7. I ADORE Billy Collins. And I have The Chairs That No One Sits in posted on the bulletin board in my cabin up north -- to remind us to just sit in the damn chairs and ENJOY. What a perfect poem for summer. I'm going to do a lot of sitting this weekend (here at home, not up north, because too many fireworks - and people - for us). XO

  8. great poem! I sit in chairs easily as long as it is not buggy outside.

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  10. I must read Billy COllins. I know those chairs. We all do!!! Hooray and thanks for a great poetry post

  11. oh my. so good! I think about the chairs we have on our front porch (never used) and the ones on our back porch (often used). every pair tells a story, doesn't it!

  12. Amen. Let's all take a deep breath and sit down outdoors beside another. That is, let's sit outdoors before and afternoon the fireworks barrage.

  13. I need to take advantage of our two chairs and the small table between and enjoy a summers evening with Smith on our patio tonight! That is a perfect summer poem.


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