head up in the bright morning air


But earlier this week on a wooded path,
I thought the swans afloat on the reservoir
were the true geniuses,
the ones who had figured out how to fly,
how to be both beautiful and brutal,
and how to mate for life.

Twenty-four geniuses in all,
for I numbered them as Yeats had done,
deployed upon the calm, crystalline surface—

forty-eight if we count their white reflections,
or an even fifty if you want to throw in me
and the dog running up ahead,

who were at least smart enough to be out
that morning—she sniffing the ground,
me with my head up in the bright morning air.

– Billy Collins, Genius from Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems




  1. yes, it would be important to count you and zeke, out among the mooring swans. (if you were up and out, instead of counting you lounging around inside )

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This time I came all the way to your site to give you a plus one! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Trumpet of the Swan, by E. B. White was one of my personal favorites that I read to the kids when they were young. Your post reminded me of this sweet story we enjoyed so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m just back from social dancing. Does that count? I did have my head up!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful piece. I could feel the moment 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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