Bill Murray is better known for movies like Caddyshack and Ghostbusters than he is for being a big poetry fan, but the actor and comedian is actually incredibly well-read. O, The Oprah Magazine recently convinced Murray to share a few of his favorite pieces with readers.
Murray’s poetry fandom goes under the radar a bit, but he’s a longtime fan of the art form. The actor once read Emily Dickinson poems for a group of construction workers at a public event, and he has financially supported Manhattan’s Poets House literary center for decades.
So Murray was more than prepared when Leigh Haber, the books editor of O, The Oprah Magazine, gave him a call about the magazine’s feature on National Poetry Month. Haber wanted to know what Murray’s favorite poems and poets were, and invited him to write short commentaries about each of them for a spread in the magazine.
The featured Kinnell piece is “Oatmeal,” a poem about sharing breakfast with poet John Keats. Kinnell died in 2014, which prompts Murray to lament that ”Kinnell, too, is now available for breakfast.” As for Clifton, Murray’s choice is “what the mirror said.” “Everybody needs an ‘Attagirl!’ now and then,” Murray writes of the inspirational poem.
Which poems of Lux’s and Nye’s will be featured remains a mystery. You can check out the full piece in O when it hits newsstands this Friday.