Competition Ends 1st March 2020 2:07pm

Paradelle Universes

Tyrant of Words
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Poetry Contest

The Classic Corner: Billy Collins tribute

Co-Hosts - Ahavati & JohnnyBlaze  

Part XXVI in an ongoing series introducing serious writers of DUP to the most well-known poets, both classical and modern. 

William James Collins, known as Billy Collins, ( born March 22, 1941 ) is an American poet, appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. In 2016, Collins retired from his position as a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York after teaching there almost 50 years. Collins is the Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida. Collins was considered as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library (1992) and selected as the New York State Poet for 2004 through 2006. As of 2018, he is a teacher in the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton.

Collins, known for his sense of humor, is also the inventor of the Paradelle - which began as a hoax, but eventually became a fun ( and very challenging ) form to complete. The inherent challenge became composing a paradelle that resulted in a comprehensible outcome.

For more information regarding Collins, please visit the Poetry Foundation:


Write a New Poem honoring Collins inspired by one of his poems. We feel listing particular poems may be constricting, and want you to follow the inspiration wherever it leads. You are allowed a maximum of 2 entries.

Do your best to make us feel as though we are reading poems by Collins. The more we feel you "capturing his essence" in "your own words" , the higher you will score. This will involve choice of wording, delivery, subject material, formatting, target audience - a wide range of factors.   

The Rules 

1.  Up to two entries per DUP persona.   

2. No erotica; this is open to all ages and can't be viewed with an ECW ( Extreme Content Warning ).   

3. No exact word limit; however, attempt to keep it no more than 250 - 300.   

4. Any form is acceptable ( but studying the poet is advised ).   

5. Webmiss will be creating #BillyCollins in the theme list.  The page will automatically generate as soon as eight entrants hashtag the theme.  In the interim, #hashtag #BillyCollins in your notes as well.

6. In your poem's notes, provide a link and a title to the very poem by Collins that inspired yours. Without such, we have no way of determining if you were truly inspired by Collins or simply swapped fresh words into his existing poetry ( which is a form of plagiarism ).

***We are no longer accepting entries inspired by multiple poems *** We feel that such resulted in weaker entries. Also, it became time consuming when researching as many as four poems per entry during analysis.

LASTLY**** ALL NON-ELIGIBLE ENTRIES WILL BE REMOVED. This is not a competition to deliberately ignore guidelines so as to advertise your work.

Comp will be judged by Ahavati & JohnnyBlaze. As in the past and in the event there is a tie, we will call in third ( and possibly fourth ) judge.

You have one month; best of luck to all entrants!

Thought Provoker
United States
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Tyrant of Words
United States
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Forum Posts: 1724

This Poem Is Seriously Ducked Up

O! Not every paradelle likewise precariously penned      
O! Not every paradelle likewise precariously penned      
reads as though branched loftily by Billy Collins      
reads as though branched loftily by Billy Collins      
Not every branched paradelle by Billy Collins      
likewise reads loftily as though precariously O penned!      
It takes a rare bird who thinks like him; an odd duckling      
It takes a rare bird who thinks like him; an odd duckling      
such as he is with his pre'pond'rings else quirkily quacked      
such as he is with his pre'pond'rings else quirkily quacked      
A rare bird with his pre'pond'rings; it takes an odd duckling      
Who else thinks like him quacked quirkily such as he is      
If aviary poem's for you my dear, disallusioned Susan      
If aviary poem's for you my dear, disallusioned Susan      
then shorely you'll swoon over this platypus docking at noon!      
then shorely you'll swoon over this platypus docking at noon!      
Dear platypus, this aviary poem's docking for you!      
At noon you'll swoon shorely if disallusioned then my Susan      
Though reads not as likewise precariously branched        
Billy Collins penned every paradelle o loftily!      
A rare bird who thinks as quirkily takes it such as     
he is an odd duckling; his pre'pond'rings quacked like him      
Susan, Dear! You'll then swoon at this poem's shorely      
disallusioned platypus if docking you aviary noon      
Written by JohnnyBlaze
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non entry

Tyrant of Words
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March's CC Poll is live and awaiting your vote!

Dangerous Mind
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Needed to replace...

jade tiger
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Shoveling Snow with Buddha

( after Billy Collins)
He shows up from out of nowhere,
of dazzling blue once the storm passes by.
Approaches with a smile, eyes of crescent moon,
offering a hand of strength and of mirth,
as honest labor of brotherly love.
I could be overthinking an uncommon sight
added to an otherwise common act.
Besides, there’s nothing out of place  
when it comes to Winter at this time of year,
with my neighborhood inundated in white powder.
And I don’t question his abbreviated attire,
a free-thinking soul such as myself.
But has he not got things turned around
in the scheme of temperatures?
Still, off we go clearing my driveway,
shoveling without stopping for a meditate.
Serene, with a sense of serenity, opens his face,
while it is our own man-made flurry’s arc
that blurs each other in the crisp air.
Working under Heaven than indoors,
I call out in the brilliance, the Buddha digs.
This is why we are born, with Nature in Winter,
I raise my free hand but he concentrates.
The way to Nirvana is via driveway.
Better take the car in this weather;
the heater doesn’t work but the radio does.
We go nonstop until the day is noon.
With my endless, run-on definitive larks,
and him in a simple, quiet place of harmony.
All about us, the snow castles we made,
it’s then I hear him say like I would do;
Can we go inside and read poetry?
By all means. Anyone in particular?
The Buddha serenely sighs, eyes seek
as he bows in a moment’s contemplation,
and the dazzling blue of midday sky
casts the blade into fresh snow.
Written by Jade-Pandora (jade tiger)
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Dangerous Mind
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The Art of Reading Billy Collins - re: Introduction to Poetry

There's only one or two    
righteous ways to read
Billy Collins how-to poetry
Childishly and imaginatively,  
If you actually try to apply    
his advice in real life  
he'll drop a mouse down    
your pants!  
He says "it goes into the poem and    
feels for the light switch....."  
Not creepy, at all...  
...only to switch your hide    
with a waterski on the surface    
of his "playful" poem!  
Then, lets his poem play    
the martyr victim  
while I take the hose!  
Written by EdibleWords
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Dangerous Mind
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Best Kind of Electrocution

Electricity is the kind of thing we most often survive    
unless by some misfortune it stops our heart  
This fact alone reminds me of heroin      
Heroin reminds me of a certain heroine      
She liked to play with electrical stimulation      
by firing her neurons with a drug    
that zapped her with strong pleasures      
but only when she was feeling lonely    
Just like electricity makes the heart stop    
her heart did stop, or nearly so    
until EMTs managed to revive her    
prompting an apology song    
Yet electricity continues to play a vital role    
in society like the unstoppable heroin trade      
athough everyone could use DC current    
and other nations succeeded in eliminating      
dangerous opium trade, only to see invasion      
After all is said and done, we can garner lessons      
Electrocution is a thing to be best enjoyed surviving      
Heroin or heroine also is best to be survived      
Yet none of these things will be fashionably safe... ever
Written by EdibleWords
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Tyrant of Words
United States
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( After Billy Collins )
Observing an ocean of rain—        
so many fishtails, hydroplaning            
amid a merriment of muddy streets

reflections quaver under light—
  deadwood trash washed out
  to the air by waning wind

—commuters, rippling
toward landing places

I press on despite the storm;
its downpour uterin warm
—the alchemy of each breath
a gift terraforming myself—

in the recourse of clouds I realize
every departure is an undergone act—
  every step-toward an eternal record
  burrowing deep inside ourselves

—while Life’s plow point carves
now-fertile seeds into once-fallow fields
  awaiting future yields 'of everything
  and nothing at once'
Written by Ahavati
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Dangerous Mind
United States
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Forum Posts: 1829

My Second Amendment Friend

Fed-up with their constant fulminating  
Using the Constitution as justification for intimidation
They parade around with their military assault weapons
Warning they also carry concealed handguns
They bloviate how they’re ready to kill anyone  
Who dares challenge their rightwing ideology
So, he began searching his storage closet
While sorting through his old belongings
Images of those dead children he taught
Murdered in his school’s mass shooting  
Flashed vividly in obsessional imagery
He found it!
The present his father gave him on his 12th birthday
A .22 squirrel rifle given as rural rite of passage
Like David with his sling, he was a crack shot
The last time he used it was to kill a coyote  
That was raiding his family farm’s livestock  
After the predator had killed a lamb  
He shot the brush-wolf right behind the ear
At over a 100 yards while it was running
Removing the vintage weapon of from its shammy sleeve
Holding it in his hand he said,
“Hello my trusty old friend  
You and I are back together once again
We’re going to a Second Amendment rally
To show them how it’s done”
Together they walked out the door
Remember my young friends, bullets always fly both ways in the end;

Written by snugglebuck
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Dangerous Mind
United Kingdom
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A gathering silence  
Thoughts on lips  
Before uttering words  
Of no importance  
The silence in churches  
Before prayers  
Silence in the dew drops  
That hydrate flower petals  
Silence of the birds at night  
The breathless silence  
Of an athlete before competition  
The guilty silence of a sinner  
Tranquil silence  
Of the falling man  
I find silence everywhere  
If you would only stop, listen  
Random silences of the day  
Deeper feeling of silence  
In the darkness
My silence  
Your silence  
The solitary silence  
Nature’s silence  
Before the storm

#Billy Collins
Written by AspergerPoet56
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jade tiger
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Reading Myself to Sleep in My Hometown of Manhattan

( after Billy Collins )  

I look forward to enlightenment as I am about to  
retire to a bedroom in a master suite overlooking  
the upper Manhattan skyline of lights that remain  
burning while I plan to sail in a glorious sendoff.  
A snifter of brandy helps to set aside anticipation  
of watching fireworks at midnight from forty floors,  
to put me on track the choice of leather I’ll read.  
A soft swish of diaphanous curtains sway across  
from stem to stern with a click by remote control  
in a city’s lull of harbor lights and boats docked full.  
The other sounds subside to permit I scan pages  
while serenely letting me drift within the book’s  
intent to take my mind and breath away up river,  
and around the first bend of a fantasy solidified  
as I exhale the way a river sighs and starts to drift  
along the sultry wake of turning pages floating by.  
To entice I tip into the underlife slipping on endless,  
sinking into the luxury of letting go, the book to fall  
as I travel through adventures that will never exist,  
and the fish take me back as liners pass by Liberty.  
Written by Jade-Pandora (jade tiger)
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Twisted Dreamer
United States
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Joined 4th Apr 2019
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Regret (for Billy Collins)

There is this sense of the irony here,
and of subtle humor --  
clever twists on universal truths  
not producing a so-called horselaugh or even a giggle
but more a smirk of acknowledgment
or maybe a snort or a nod
or just a twinkle in the eye
indicating that yes, we get it and yes, it is funny
especially if one likes his humor  
dipping a baby toe in the mildly acidic waters of ironic drollery.
Which is, like it or not, where truth often resides.
Because we might as well accept the slapstick antics  
involved in trying so hard,  
earnestly navigating life's turbulent seas
and attributing our sunken ships to a god's desire
or to Him taking time from his busy schedule
to teach us a lesson that is always too late to be applicable
and is better known  
as regret.

Written by javalini
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Fire of Insight
United Kingdom
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Forum Posts: 339

Ten to Eleven

As we ran with fleeting chance
like insects, fly from summer's grass
like dogs just let off a lead  
dirty hands, and dirty knees  
See no danger, pay no heed  
 lied when I said I cleaned my teeth  
tremble as I braved a "dare"  
with impish grin and tousled hair  
Did my mind just twist the facts  
reminisce through hazy cataracts  
Just  outlines, as we squint the past  
was my ten, just that far back  
Old photographic remnants, in hand-me downs  
refractions of that life in sepia brown  
Now let me see, was that the class of 1927  
could be; If so I had just turned eleven

#Billy Collins 
Written by slipalong
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Dangerous Mind
United States
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Why Don't You Cry...

(…and Write a Poem About It)

Not to make myself seem a little too sensitive
or at least delicate in certain matters of
a couples playful banter but
my wife likes to play a little rough from time to time
and when I lightheartedly say “hey you’re hurting me”
she aptly replies “Why don’t you cry and write a poem about it.”

Now, I’m usually looking for inspiration for my next piece
but sometimes my muse flicks a little too hard
in those “sensitive” spots and that when I retract just a bit.
I’ll pout jokingly and that’s when she says
“Why don’t you cry and write a poem about it.”

 “OK maybe I will” I usually reply but the time never comes.

So a couple of days go by and as I’m looking for that next sign
or the Suggestion Box as Billy calls it
I find motivation when I least expect it
that’s unless she looks at me a certain way
then I get all warm and fussy and I spill something…
corny, horny or all together sappy.

But there have been times when I’ve inspired myself
Just by a random thought
Or the lyrics of a song
Or the passage of a book I remember suddenly
Or maybe even something that touched me deeply

And as I sit there quietly
Listening to the sound of my voice inside my head
Giving me the words and directions
I feel my eyes begin to well up just a bit
Enough to write a poem about it.

Written by wallyroo92
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