Why I Picked It
“The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.”
There is a reason for most anything that happens in life. The reason I chose the poem The Lanyard by Billy Collins is because it spoke to me. I spent about an hour or two on Thursday while I was sick going through all of the poems on Fitz’s “poem miner” website. There were many poems that were good and that I would be happy reciting but once I came across The Lanyard I knew it was the one for me. Reading it through I noticed its perfect length, with all the necessary detail and a true story told. The message of this poem is really Collins’s regret in not being able to repay his mother yet giving her the lanyard miraculously made them even. He explains all the things his mother had done for him including cooking thousands of meals and an giving him an education. And with each example says that all he gave her was a lanyard. He uses the contrast between what she did for him, and what he did for her to make this such a good and sincere poem. Another reason why I picked this poem was that I felt a sort of connection to it. It spoke to me because I see all the things my mother does for me and I take them for granted and don’t do many nice things for her in return. This is truly a poem that gets you thinking. The ironic part of this poem is that Collins started thinking about this after somehow flipping to the L section of the dictionary where the word lanyard caught his eye. I found this poem so sincere and truthful that I just had to select it. Many other WW Fenn pieces are great speeches and well regarded poems that tell epic stories but the simplicity of the story this poem tells is truly the reason I picked it.