In “The Lanyard,” Billy Collins writes about an everyday object he made as a child—a boxy, red-and-white lanyard—to explore a timeless question: Can you ever repay the debt you owe to your parents?

The Lanyard ~ a juxtaposition of the mundane and the profound.

It’s moving.     It’s funny.     It’s lump-in-the-throat perfect.



Missed this at summer camp? It’s knot too late. Your mom will ♥ it!



Toni 5/8/11

6 thoughts on “KNOT PERFECT ~ A POEM FOR MOM

  1. We listened to this here in California and laughed, and maybe sniffed back a tear. Lydia was playing nearby and listened maybe, and, yes, Billy nailed it. I’m sure she thinks the lanyard made it even. But then she’s six.


  2. The Writer’s Almanac posted “The Lanyard” back on January 26th, 2008. I loved it then …. enough to make a hard copy of it…. I love it still. Thanks for sharing it with all your readers.


    1. Ronnie, to counteract the melodrama of it all, let me assure you a mother’s life is spent trapped between a scream and hug.
      As for the lanyard tale ~ you and I never went to summer camp…in our case, it was probably that cross braided out of palms. 🙂


    2. Billy Collins was at the White House but not W.S.Merwyn? Our poet laureate? I wonder why? No one could spell his name, including me? They thought he was too old? (Sore topic).


Plz leave a comment here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s