Man Listening to Disc - Billy Collins

This afternoon I am listening to Billy Collins on his afternoon poetry reading.  He is reading Man Listening to Disc.  Billy says this was from the 90s and he was using one of those discmans walking down the street. According to an analysis of this poem I found on the internet, "The poem perfectly sums up that feeling of being the master of your own private space whilst out in public, earphones attached, music loud and clear, in your own bubble, a 'hub of the cosmos', listening to a simple disc." 

To me it shows how people are lost in their own, thinking that they are the center of the universe.  Truly believing in the Maya ... not only that we are all disparate, also that we are the center of the universe. There are so many centers of the universe - every person a center, every atom a center.  They were all close together before the big bang; since then on average all the centers of the universe are flying away from each other. I don't know if this carefreeness is good or bad.  I guess no one is being harmed.  But I am not sure about this. 

Man Listening to Disc
by Billy Collins

This is not bad --
ambling along 44th Street
with Sonny Rollins for company,
his music flowing through the soft calipers
of these earphones,

as if he were right beside me
on this clear day in March,
the pavement sparkling with sunlight,
pigeons fluttering off the curb,
nodding over a profusion of bread crumbs.

In fact, I would say
my delight at being suffused
with phrases from his saxophone --
some like honey, some like vinegar --
is surpassed only by my gratitude

to Tommy Potter for taking the time
to join us on this breezy afternoon
with his most unwieldy bass
and to the esteemed Arthur Taylor
who is somehow managing to navigate

this crowd with his cumbersome drums.
And I bow deeply to Thelonious Monk
for figuring out a way
to motorize -- or whatever -- his huge piano
so he could be with us today.

This music is loud yet so confidential.
I cannot help feeling even more
like the center of the universe
than usual as I walk along to a rapid
little version of "The Way You Look Tonight,"

and all I can say to my fellow pedestrians,
to the woman in the white sweater,
the man in the tan raincoat and the heavy glasses,
who mistake themselves for the center of the universe --
all I can say is watch your step,

because the five of us, instruments and all,
are about to angle over
to the south side of the street
and then, in our own tightly knit way,
turn the corner at Sixth Avenue.

And if any of you are curious
about where this aggregation,
this whole battery-powered crew,
is headed, let us just say
that the real center of the universe,

the only true point of view,
is full of hope that he,
the hub of the cosmos
with his hair blown sideways,
will eventually make it all the way downtown.