Gold Billy Collins I don’t want to make too much of this, but because the bedroom faces east across a lake here in Florida, when the sun first rises and reflects off the water, the whole room is suffused with the kind of golden light that might travel the length of a passageway in a megalithic tomb precisely at dawn on the summer solstice. Again, I don’t want to exaggerate, but it reminds me of a brand of light that could illuminate the walls of a hidden chamber full of treasure, pearls and gold coins overflowing the silver platters. I feel like comparing it to the fire that Aphrodite lit in the human eye so as to make it possible for us to perceive the other three elements, but the last thing I want to do is risk losing your confidence by appearing to lay it on too thick. Let’s just say that the morning light here would bring to anyone’s mind the rings of light that Dante deploys in the final cantos of the Paradiso to convey the presence of God while bringing The Divine Comedy to a stunning climax and leave it at that. Billy Collins is the author of many books of poetry. His latest collection is Ballistics (Random House, 2008). He is the editor of Bright Wings: An Anthology of Poems about Birds (Columbia University Press, 2009). “Gold” appears in our Autumn 2010 issue.