NABOKV-L post 0006280, Wed, 26 Dec 2001 15:50:01 -0800

Re: Picnic, Lightning (fwd)
I am re-sending the posting below since the first time it came through, I
believe it lacked the attribution (i.e. Clarence Brown).

From: Clarence Brown <>

The new book of poems by the new Poet Laureate of the United States,
Billy Collins, is a runaway best seller. The title is Picnic, Lightning
(University of Pittsburgh Press). I knew at once that this phrase came
from Lolita, but mistakenly thought that it turned up in Humbert's musing
on what might befall Charlotte and others at Hour Glass Lake. I finally
located it on p.12 of the novel. So did Billy Collins, who quotes the
relevant sentence as the epigraph to the title poem (p.24): "My very
photogenic mother died in a freak accident (picnic, lightning) when I was

Clarence Brown