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I Ask You

Billy Collins

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Added by: Stephen Lunderman
I understand this poem pretty well, but the last 3 lines or so are slightly confusing. if anyone has any possible interpretations or comments i would greatly appreciate them. please email anything at k27614@aol.com. thanks
Added by: Dave
I think that the last three lines are comparing his thoughts to a bird. The bird has many possibilities as to where to go (enormous sky) and where to land (million empty branches).
Haiku clues?
Added by: Sara
Also I wonder, is he echoing Basho's "A crow has settled / on a bare branch: / autumn evening"...? (Since the preceding frog line would seem to reference "Old pond, / a frog jumps in-- / sound of water." Also Basho). And then suggesting...what? The solitude seems relevant to Collins' poem, certainly; perhaps also a million branches, beyond his kitchen, contrast with Basho's JUST THIS BRANCH, THIS CROW. Or maybe a million branches, in his solitary inactive potential, are all THIS BRANCH.

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