billy collins, sir paul mccartney, and a summer blog break

via The Wheatfield

Ah, summer! Time to step away from the stove and laptop, relax, and stay cool.

Mr. Cornelius, 50-something Paddingtons, and I are looking forward to ice cream sundaes, fresh peach pie, reading trashy novels mind-enriching classics, growing basil, hanging out with relatives, tickling the ivories, and shopping for cool things.

Before we sign off for a bit, wanted to share this interesting video of former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins interviewing Sir Paul McCartney at Rollins College last October. They discuss early academic influences (Chaucer, Shakespeare, Keats), songwriting, poetry, celebrity, and much more. Paul shares a few naughty bits from Chaucer’s “Miller’s Tale” and sings “Blackbird” at the end.

photo by Scott Cook

I especially enjoyed hearing how the Beatles honed their craft, how John’s snarkiness complemented Paul’s optimism when it came to writing songs. Paul hasn’t lost any of his boyish charm or good looks, remains humble and grounded, and it was nice to know that had he not become a musician, he might have tried his hand at teaching English. 🙂

Can you imagine walking into class on the first day of school and seeing Paul as your teacher??!!! SCREAM.

The video is about an hour long, so you might want to bookmark this post and come back later when you have enough time to get nice and comfy, sip a tall glass of iced tea, and enjoy the meeting of two brilliant minds. The students in the video remain amazingly calm throughout. If I ever found myself in the same room with both Billy and Paul, I’d probably faint dead away. Just sayin’.

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So what will you be up to this summer?


Whether you decide to just relax and refresh,

“Teacup Pool” by Silke Leffler

take the plunge and try something new,

“Summer in a Teacup” by Lynn Skordal

partea with friends indoors


or out,

“Tea Party” by Elsie Anna Wood

bask in serenitea,

pansies teacup

do a little sightseeing,

Tea Stop in Sichuan Province (Judy Gallagher/flickr)

have a tête-à-tête with a furry stranger,

“My Tea Bear” by Lynn Lupetti

jumpstart your creativitea,

by Grace Easton

sail the sea of tranquilitea,

tea ocean
by Alijt Emmens

dance the night away,

or staycation in the comfort of your own home,


do enjoy yourself, stay safe, and have a big cuppa fun!



Jama, Mr. Cornelius, 50-something Paddingtons, and all the Alphabet Soup furry kitchen helpers.


P.S. Appropos of something, “James” is actually Paul’s first name, Billy’s middle name, and the first “half” of my first name (“Jama” is a combination of James + Margaret, my parents). Doesn’t this make me practically related to Billy and Paul? 😀

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poetry fridayCarol at Carol’s Corner is hosting the Roundup this week. Sashay on over and enjoy the full menu of poetic goodness being served up in the blogosphere, and don’t forget:

via The Wheatfield


Copyright © 2015 Jama Collins McCartney Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

47 thoughts on “billy collins, sir paul mccartney, and a summer blog break

  1. Oh my gosh! Paul McCartney and Billy Collins in one place???? I will definitely be back to watch the whole thing, later today or this weekend. And your pictorial essay is beau-tea-ful! I love it! Wondering, as I always do when I come here, how you manage to find so many food related items. Speaking of, while you are break, look for the picture book, A FINE DESSERT, by Emily Jenkins and Sophie Blackall. I read it early this week and thought of you immediately. It’s not poetry, but I think you would love it. I reviewed it here
    Have a great break Jama!


    1. It’s wonderful to have Billy and Paul as relatives. 🙂

      No plans to venture up to NH at this point, sorry to say. Enjoy your summer, Diane!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful celebration of summer! And I loved learning the origin of your name. Enjoy your break, Jama–and plenty of peach pies and sundaes!


  3. I will miss you and all the Bears (esp. Mr. C.) these next few weeks. But every time I drink my tea, I’ll think of you all! We’ve been having gallons of the iced variety lately with these silly temps flirting with three digits. Nice that the beach is just down the road.
    Can’t wait to circle back and enjoy the video – I was just at the HSA meeting/workshop at Rollins in May. :0)
    ENJOY your flavorful summer respite, with lemon and honey and hugs.


  4. Wonderful that those two got together for a ‘session’, Jama. Happy vacation to you & your family, too. I love all the pictures of course, especially that “sea of tranquilitea”!


    1. It was indeed interesting to see one of my favorite poets interview one of my favorite musicians. Billy asked some great questions and at one point read one of Paul’s poems.


  5. Hi, Jama. I’m smiling at your Emerson quote — a version of it appears in my verse novel 🙂

    Loved all of these summer teatime images, especially that cool teapot fountain. Wow!


  6. We’re off to Glasgow on Wednesday and will be back in August — see you in the autumn, and if you’re going to the islands, travel safely.


  7. How lucky those students were!!! You have me wondering about that shopping you are going to do…looking forward to seeing the results in fall 🙂 !


  8. Have a fabulous summer break! Thanks for the video — I’ll be back! While you’re gone I’ll definitely be jumpstarting my creativity/ea!


  9. Enjoy your break! I’m hoping I can get back down your way again, maybe this summer.


  10. Love Sir Paul’s comment about beginners feeling free to be light-hearted with their art, not always shooting for something “significant.” That’s such good advice.
    Have a great summer, Jama!


    1. I agree — the important thing is to just begin and not weigh yourself down with unrealistic expectations. Trust the muse.


  11. Love how art-tea you are. I’m leaving your page up, and I hope to watch your video. Although, my kids are home for the summer, so computer time is short here.

    Summer is the time for sun tea! 🙂 Have fun in the sun! XOXO


  12. Happy summer to you, Jama! I love all the darling images you’ve shared (I’ll be doing a bit of each), and am looking forward to listening to Paul and Billy’s wise words.


  13. Another swoon-worthy post, Jama! Enjoy your summertime fun. I’ll be looking for heat relief from the desert heat wherever I can find it.Happy Summer! =)


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