In an old interview by George Plimpton, related to  Billy Collins, The Art of Poetry No. 83, we find a reference to Nabokov’s “Pale Fire,” where Shade’s poem shines under the limelight.
INTERVIEWER: Very rarely do you have poets who write novels.
COLLINS: Nicholas Christopher and Stephen Dobyns are contemporaries that come to mind. And Ronald Koertge. But success at both is rare. Look at Joyce. He completely redefined the novel, but his poems are useless. One exception is Nabokov’s Pale Fire—an amazing poem with or without the notes


It may be worth reminding you that Collins has published a collection of poems in 1998 with the title “Picnic,Lightning”.


"My very photogenic mother died in a freak accident (picnic, lightning) when I was three." – Lolita

It is possible to be struck by a meteor

or a single-engine plane

while reading in a chair at home.

Safes drop from rooftops

and flatten the odd pedestrian

mostly within the panels of the comics,

but still, we know it is possible,

as well as the flash of summer lightning…









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