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The Trouble With Poetry - And Other Poems

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Playfulness, spare elegance, and wit epitomize the poetry of Billy Collins. With his distinct voice and accessible language, America's two-term Poet Laureate has opened the door to poetry for countless people for whom it might otherwise remain closed. Like the present book's title, Collins's poems are filled with mischief, humor, and irony, "Poetry speaks to all people, it Playfulness, spare elegance, and wit epitomize the poetry of Billy Collins. With his distinct voice and accessible language, America's two-term Poet Laureate has opened the door to poetry for countless people for whom it might otherwise remain closed. Like the present book's title, Collins's poems are filled with mischief, humor, and irony, "Poetry speaks to all people, it is said, but here I would like to address / only those in my own time zone"-but also with quiet observation, intense wonder, and a reverence for the everyday: "The birds are in their trees, / the toast is in the toaster, / and the poets are at their windows. / They are at their windows in every section of the tangerine of earth-the Chinese poets looking up at the moon, / the American poets gazing out / at the pink and blue ribbons of sunrise." Through simple language, Collins shows that good poetry doesn't have to be obscure or incomprehensible, qualities that are perhaps the real trouble with most "serious" poetry: "By now, it should go without saying / that what the oven is to the baker / and the berry-stained blouse to the drycleaner / so the window is to the poet." In this dazzling new collection, his first in three years, Collins explores boyhood, jazz, love, the passage of time, and, of course, writing-themes familiar to Collins's fans but made new here. Gorgeous, funny, and deeply empathetic, Billy Collins's poetry is a window through which we see our lives as if for the first time. From the Hardcover edition.


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Playfulness, spare elegance, and wit epitomize the poetry of Billy Collins. With his distinct voice and accessible language, America's two-term Poet Laureate has opened the door to poetry for countless people for whom it might otherwise remain closed. Like the present book's title, Collins's poems are filled with mischief, humor, and irony, "Poetry speaks to all people, it Playfulness, spare elegance, and wit epitomize the poetry of Billy Collins. With his distinct voice and accessible language, America's two-term Poet Laureate has opened the door to poetry for countless people for whom it might otherwise remain closed. Like the present book's title, Collins's poems are filled with mischief, humor, and irony, "Poetry speaks to all people, it is said, but here I would like to address / only those in my own time zone"-but also with quiet observation, intense wonder, and a reverence for the everyday: "The birds are in their trees, / the toast is in the toaster, / and the poets are at their windows. / They are at their windows in every section of the tangerine of earth-the Chinese poets looking up at the moon, / the American poets gazing out / at the pink and blue ribbons of sunrise." Through simple language, Collins shows that good poetry doesn't have to be obscure or incomprehensible, qualities that are perhaps the real trouble with most "serious" poetry: "By now, it should go without saying / that what the oven is to the baker / and the berry-stained blouse to the drycleaner / so the window is to the poet." In this dazzling new collection, his first in three years, Collins explores boyhood, jazz, love, the passage of time, and, of course, writing-themes familiar to Collins's fans but made new here. Gorgeous, funny, and deeply empathetic, Billy Collins's poetry is a window through which we see our lives as if for the first time. From the Hardcover edition.

30 review for The Trouble With Poetry - And Other Poems

  1. 3 out of 5

    Ken

    It is popular to state that Billy Collins, the People's Poet (hmn, I wonder if he has a Court?), is in decline these days. What do I know, this is only the second collection of his I have read, though I have read plenty of his work via the Internet (the People's Poetry Journal, if you will). Turns out, this collection is almost a teenager--12 years old, copyright in 2005. Meaning? If the wheels were getting wobbly, it started much sooner than the "it is popular to state" folks admit. There's a B It is popular to state that Billy Collins, the People's Poet (hmn, I wonder if he has a Court?), is in decline these days. What do I know, this is only the second collection of his I have read, though I have read plenty of his work via the Internet (the People's Poetry Journal, if you will). Turns out, this collection is almost a teenager--12 years old, copyright in 2005. Meaning? If the wheels were getting wobbly, it started much sooner than the "it is popular to state" folks admit. There's a Billy Collins style, surely. Casual. Approachable. Avuncular. Though broken into tercets or quatrains, his lines are often leggy as Rockettes, commas and dashes along the way but a long ways to a period. But no one will come out of his poems confused, which is why he is so appreciated, I think. Especially among the many who believe poetry is too obscure for its own good. One of my favorite poems in the collection, for example, is of humble origins. It comes from the common experience of summer camp. It is called... "The Lanyard" (Billy Collins) The other day I was ricocheting slowly off the blue walls of this room, moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano, from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor, when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard. No cookie nibbled by a French novelist could send one into the past more suddenly— a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp by a deep Adirondack lake learning how to braid long thin plastic strips into a lanyard, a gift for my mother. I had never seen anyone use a lanyard or wear one, if that's what you did with them, but that did not keep me from crossing strand over strand again and again until I had made a boxy red and white lanyard for my mother. She gave me life and milk from her breasts, and I gave her a lanyard. She nursed me in many a sick room, lifted spoons of medicine to my lips, laid cold face-cloths on my forehead, and then led me out into the airy light and taught me to walk and swim, and I , in turn, presented her with a lanyard. Here are thousands of meals, she said, and here is clothing and a good education. And here is your lanyard, I replied, which I made with a little help from a counselor. Here is a breathing body and a beating heart, strong legs, bones and teeth, and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered, and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp. And here, I wish to say to her now, is a smaller gift—not the worn truth that you can never repay your mother, but the rueful admission that when she took the two-tone lanyard from my hand, I was as sure as a boy could be that this useless, worthless thing I wove out of boredom would be enough to make us even. And then there are poems that, for me, fall a bit flat, especially the endings which are so crucial to the poem. One example is this one... "Class Picture, 1954" (Billy Collins) I am the third one from the left in the third row. The girl I have been in love with since the 5th grade is just behind me to the right, the one with the bangs. The boy who pushes me down in the playground is the last one on the left in the top row. And my friend Paul is the second one in the second row, the one with his collar sticking out, next to the teacher. But that's not all— if you look carefully you can see our house in the background with its porch and its brick chimney and up in the clouds you can see the faces of my parents, and over there, off to the side, Superman is balancing a green car over his head with one hand. Of course, you may see merit in the class picture as much as or more than in the lanyard. Poetry is a personal thing, notorious for its subjectivity if you are a reader. If you like it, heck with the vowel and buy a star or two from Vanna White, then go get the book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Clif Brittain

    The trouble with poetry is that I usually don't get it. Chickens in the rain and all that. I have even less of an ear for it. But actually, I do like the chickens in the rain stuff, as long as it is not too long. I like Collins for three reasons: His tastes are like mine. He likes the same things I do, dislikes the same things. So when he writes about the joy of hearing the Swan Silvertones, I have been there and enjoy that. He writes about some of life's perfect little moments that I've forgotten The trouble with poetry is that I usually don't get it. Chickens in the rain and all that. I have even less of an ear for it. But actually, I do like the chickens in the rain stuff, as long as it is not too long. I like Collins for three reasons: His tastes are like mine. He likes the same things I do, dislikes the same things. So when he writes about the joy of hearing the Swan Silvertones, I have been there and enjoy that. He writes about some of life's perfect little moments that I've forgotten, but he has been prescient enough to recognize and record. These are his moments, but I can enjoy them as if they were mine. I like his images, e.g. "The silence of the falling vase before it strikes the floor..." That moment when the attention is so focused that all other sights, sounds, smells disappear is captured here and in many other places. "...the intelligent little trinity of my fingers gripping the neck of the pencil / while the other two dangle below like the fleshy legs of a tiny swimmer." My hands have at least as much intelligence as my brain, but I would never think to identify them as "intelligent little trinity." He captures the emotions so well. "Lanyard" is my favorite poem of his. I heard him read it at my daughter's graduation, and I wasn't the only one crying. I read it to my Mom on her birthday and on Mother's Day. She cries too. For you dog lovers, there is plenty for you. See Care and Feeding. Collins' poetry is perfect for those moments when you don't have time to read for more than a few minutes. This is the perfect book to have on my Kindle. I would never lug around a book for those few minutes spent waiting here or there, but the Kindle is perfect for that.

  3. 3 out of 5

    Megan Baxter

    This was the second book, along with Guy Gavriel Kay's River of Stars, that I bought myself with a birthday gift certificate from my lovely friend Nele. I have only read one other collection of Billy Collins poetry, but it struck me so much that I needed to own it. I mean, needed to own it, with a deep and abiding desire to have it always around so I could flip through the pages and find favourite poems whenever I wanted. Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Good This was the second book, along with Guy Gavriel Kay's River of Stars, that I bought myself with a birthday gift certificate from my lovely friend Nele. I have only read one other collection of Billy Collins poetry, but it struck me so much that I needed to own it. I mean, needed to own it, with a deep and abiding desire to have it always around so I could flip through the pages and find favourite poems whenever I wanted. Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here. In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  4. 3 out of 5

    John

    I don't generally like poetry. Oh, perhaps a little Robert Frost, and some say parts of the Bible are poetry and I like the Bible. But, other than that, bleah! So my daughter-in-law, Shannon, hoping to retrieve me from the land of poetry illiterates, loaned me her book of Billy Collins poems. "If you don't like these," she suggested darkly, "there is no hope for you." So I read Collins' poems, or is it the poems of Collins? Well, no matter, I read them. And what did I find? Not poetry, but philosophic prose brok I don't generally like poetry. Oh, perhaps a little Robert Frost, and some say parts of the Bible are poetry and I like the Bible. But, other than that, bleah! So my daughter-in-law, Shannon, hoping to retrieve me from the land of poetry illiterates, loaned me her book of Billy Collins poems. "If you don't like these," she suggested darkly, "there is no hope for you." So I read Collins' poems, or is it the poems of Collins? Well, no matter, I read them. And what did I find? Not poetry, but philosophic prose broken into stacked-up part lines. If this is really poetry, then perhaps I do like it. Flock, for instance, on page 35, is pretty good. "Oh," you say, "you just like that one because it's so short." Well, I admit it is short, but I didn't like it just for that. I like it because the last three lines tickled me. I also liked You, Reader and it's kind of long for a Collins poem. Although I don't begrudge Collins first including rain-soaked windows, ivy wallpaper, and the goldfish circling in its bowl into his poem. After all, he's supposed to be the poet. Then there's The Lanyard. It is sweet, and I know mothers are like that, so it rang true. And I like The Student which called to my mind through the vortex of time cicada singing in the trees above the velvety lawn in the yard of the house we rented in Maryland long years ago. So thank you, Shannon; you have succeeded. I like more poetry now (if Collins really writes poetry) than I did before. So what is there left to say? Oh yes, see, some brown hens are standing in the rain.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shawn Sorensen

    Collins excels because he's readable and reassuring, yet often surprising. I read this right before I go to bed - it's that kind of book. Accessibility with the option to think about it as much as I have the energy for. I wish he would write in different styles - everything starts out with something like "I was sitting in my living room peeling a pear and staring out the window...". Everything in first person ultra-conversational. He can get a little too playful at times, but rarely is he smug. Collins excels because he's readable and reassuring, yet often surprising. I read this right before I go to bed - it's that kind of book. Accessibility with the option to think about it as much as I have the energy for. I wish he would write in different styles - everything starts out with something like "I was sitting in my living room peeling a pear and staring out the window...". Everything in first person ultra-conversational. He can get a little too playful at times, but rarely is he smug. He's simply comfortable with who he is and because of that takes very imaginative leaps within his writing. The book is also notable for having the Collins classics "The Lanyard", "Building with Its Face Blown Off" and the title poem. I'm reading it again right now, in fact. Sweet dreams.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I wish I could write like him! This poetry collection is just…is just…well…sublime! I want to produce something as funny, witty and entertaining!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    After being disgusted by Ballistics, I didn't figure I'd ever pick up Billy again. But I found his poems multiple times in anthologies, and liked them. I was surprised to realize they were his, because they were so good. And so I found another book hoping I'd like him. I don't. Those poems I liked were earlier, much earlier, from the nineties. Everything I've found more recent is worse. So unless I find his very first book of poems, I won't seek out any more Billy. I should note what I don't lik After being disgusted by Ballistics, I didn't figure I'd ever pick up Billy again. But I found his poems multiple times in anthologies, and liked them. I was surprised to realize they were his, because they were so good. And so I found another book hoping I'd like him. I don't. Those poems I liked were earlier, much earlier, from the nineties. Everything I've found more recent is worse. So unless I find his very first book of poems, I won't seek out any more Billy. I should note what I don't like. Mainly, these poems say "I sat" "I thought" "I said" and proceed to tell us exactly what he said, thought, and sat on. If an idea outside of his (mundane) life makes it in, that idea is killed by a last line like "and reached for the towel that was so far away" (paraphrased). I like some poets' poems of their lives. Billy just thinks his bath is the most important thing that never happened to me. And it isn't. Also his beats, which I can't call rhythm, merge exactly with a dripping shower head. No flow, no rhythm, just plunkplunkplop. Awful.

  8. 3 out of 5

    Emma

    This might be my favorite of his books. I haven't read all of them, but I have read most. It's the only one I can recall where he comes across, at times, as vulnerable or forlorn. He's always a master technician of the line, but also of this delicate, light-as-air tone. In this collection, there is sorrow, even a man contemplating his own mortality. That all really appealed to me. It takes him off the poetry pedestal and places him square in the ranks with the rest of us sincere-hearted fumblers This might be my favorite of his books. I haven't read all of them, but I have read most. It's the only one I can recall where he comes across, at times, as vulnerable or forlorn. He's always a master technician of the line, but also of this delicate, light-as-air tone. In this collection, there is sorrow, even a man contemplating his own mortality. That all really appealed to me. It takes him off the poetry pedestal and places him square in the ranks with the rest of us sincere-hearted fumblers.

  9. 3 out of 5

    Allen

    The trouble with Billy Collins is he has one formula for a poem which he works over and over.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    I am not a reader of poetry. And frankly, I am not usually a like-er of poetry (save a few that I have grown to love.) To me reading poetry was like eating a plate of beets--which makes me gag. However, Billy Collins' poetry is not beat level. He is definitely more of a donut that I was able to snag on a lucky morning. I love his rhythm, I love that it doesn't rhyme but you still feel the ebbs band flows of his words in sync with each other. I marked several pages of this book: "Breathless", "Th I am not a reader of poetry. And frankly, I am not usually a like-er of poetry (save a few that I have grown to love.) To me reading poetry was like eating a plate of beets--which makes me gag. However, Billy Collins' poetry is not beat level. He is definitely more of a donut that I was able to snag on a lucky morning. I love his rhythm, I love that it doesn't rhyme but you still feel the ebbs band flows of his words in sync with each other. I marked several pages of this book: "Breathless", "The Lanyard", "The Order of the Day", "Constellations" and "The Introduction". While those were the ones that spoke to me specifically, I throughly enjoyed the whole book. Enjoy the danish...it's delightful.

  11. 5 out of 5

    James Murphy

    The cover of this book is a whimsical painting of a bear, almost a cartoon rendering of a bear. It points to the playfulness beneath the cover. One thing so appealing about Billy Collins is that he gives us serious poetry which he seems to not take seriously at all. There's plenty of frolicsome exuberance here and in his poetry as a whole. But unstated in his style is the understanding that he chooses to look at ideas with an impish eye, and also that one may come away from his verse thinking hi The cover of this book is a whimsical painting of a bear, almost a cartoon rendering of a bear. It points to the playfulness beneath the cover. One thing so appealing about Billy Collins is that he gives us serious poetry which he seems to not take seriously at all. There's plenty of frolicsome exuberance here and in his poetry as a whole. But unstated in his style is the understanding that he chooses to look at ideas with an impish eye, and also that one may come away from his verse thinking his way of looking is the best way. Collins's poems are gentle vessels, but they spill the steel of a true vision to forge a new, stronger awareness of the world and how it works. And how we can use it to our own betterment. Collins sings what he sees and sings it beautifully. This is straightforward, without fuss, embroidery, or curlicues. Collins uses simple language arranged to paint the gleaming image or drive home the deep idea. He makes the commonplace incandescent. This is the first volume of Collins I've read in several years. I'm reminding myself now to not get too far away from this guy.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tawny

    Favorite lines: From "Carry" I want to carry you and for you to carry me the way voices are said to carry over water. "Flock" It has been calculated that each copy of the Gutenberg Bible required the skins of 300 sheep. I can see them squeezed into the holding pen behind the stone building where the printing press is housed, all of them squirming around to find a little room and looking so much alike it would be nearly impossible to count them, and there is no telling which one will carry the news that the Lord Favorite lines: From "Carry" I want to carry you and for you to carry me the way voices are said to carry over water. "Flock" It has been calculated that each copy of the Gutenberg Bible required the skins of 300 sheep. I can see them squeezed into the holding pen behind the stone building where the printing press is housed, all of them squirming around to find a little room and looking so much alike it would be nearly impossible to count them, and there is no telling which one will carry the news that the Lord is a shepherd, one of the few things they already know.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer (Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー)

    I'm someone who doesn't read poetry all that often because all the wrong poetry was stuffed down my throat during high school. I've been too lazy to bother finding more, until now. This is the first time I've read Billy Collins' work, and I think it's beautiful. It's naked poetry - free from poetic device and pretense. This is poetry that speaks to the everyday man and doesn't attempt to be erudite. This will keep you thinking, but will leave you satisfied despite the wonder it instills in you. E I'm someone who doesn't read poetry all that often because all the wrong poetry was stuffed down my throat during high school. I've been too lazy to bother finding more, until now. This is the first time I've read Billy Collins' work, and I think it's beautiful. It's naked poetry - free from poetic device and pretense. This is poetry that speaks to the everyday man and doesn't attempt to be erudite. This will keep you thinking, but will leave you satisfied despite the wonder it instills in you. Edit: grammar

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cami

    I really liked this poet! It was a lot like reading a modern Robert Frost (and I think that is a great compliment). I like that this collection seemed to highlight the creative process throughout. Favorites: Drawing Class I Ask You Special Glasses The Lanyard (a must read for mothers who feel unappreciated)

  15. 3 out of 5

    Kate

    Collins has a way of capturing moments of wonder in verse that is graceful and lovely without calling attention to itself as difficult, the way so much poetry does. The moment can't be held; it passes through us, and these poems do also, but they leave me with the sensation of the writer living life well, living life alert to beauty and story in myriad ordinary moments.

  16. 5 out of 5

    C.A.

    THE TROUBLE WITH POETRY IS BILLY COLLINS! I'd rather drink battery acid! WITH LEMON MIND YOU! No sense drinking battery acid without lemon! CAConrad http://CAConrad.blogspot.com

  17. 5 out of 5

    Magdelanye

    The birds are in their trees, the toast is in the toaster, and the poets are at their windows. .... Which window it hardly seems to matter from the poem Monday p7 Such merry insouciance characterizes most of the poems in this volume, connecting the mundane with the inspirational. BC seems cosy with the infinite, but I pegged him for a minor eccentric and was shocked to discover that he was poet laureate of the united States from 2001 to 2003. Either I have been living under a rock or there really is n The birds are in their trees, the toast is in the toaster, and the poets are at their windows. .... Which window it hardly seems to matter from the poem Monday p7 Such merry insouciance characterizes most of the poems in this volume, connecting the mundane with the inspirational. BC seems cosy with the infinite, but I pegged him for a minor eccentric and was shocked to discover that he was poet laureate of the united States from 2001 to 2003. Either I have been living under a rock or there really is not much connecting American poets to Canadian reality. History will never find a way to end. p47 from Boy Shooting at a Statue

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    Billy Collins is a very popular poet, mostly because his poems are clear and (a term he dislikes) accessible--in his introduction to a different book of poems, he remarks that a poem should at least have a clear starting place, otherwise it has nowhere to go; if it doesn't begin in lucidity it can't advance to the mysterious. I agree. There is a wonderful anthology of Bad Poetry titled The Stuffed Owl, which came out in 1930 and has been recently reprinted with a new introduction by Collins. He Billy Collins is a very popular poet, mostly because his poems are clear and (a term he dislikes) accessible--in his introduction to a different book of poems, he remarks that a poem should at least have a clear starting place, otherwise it has nowhere to go; if it doesn't begin in lucidity it can't advance to the mysterious. I agree. There is a wonderful anthology of Bad Poetry titled The Stuffed Owl, which came out in 1930 and has been recently reprinted with a new introduction by Collins. He remarks there that Bad Poetry (laughably, embarrassingly bad) was mostly written in the 18th and 19th centuries as poets tried too hard to fit the required forms of meter and rhyme. The reaction to the required forms was Free Verse, which, he thinks, disguises badness and results in a great deal of OK poetry. I'm afraid that's where I'd have to put most of the poems in this collection. A few are quite funny, several raise interesting questions. But there is a lot of I was only thinking about the shakers of salt and pepper that were standing side by side on a place mat. I wondered if they had become friends after all these years or if they were still strangers to one another like you and I who manage to be known and unknown to each other at the same time-- me at this table with a bowl of pears, you leaning in a doorway somewhere near some blue hydrangeas, reading this. I'm currently reading a murder mystery which has this: "Clouds were running like tumbleweed across a sky of intense, saturated, heraldic azure. The tall, bare plane trees on the green swayed solemnly like folkies singing Kumbayah. All around, the residents--young, old and middling--were sleeping, getting up, planning their day, thinking about work, school, sex, shopping, football. Some were perhaps dying." I don't see much difference in lucidity, cadence, profundity, or vividness of description between the two. Maybe it's just me. There were a couple of very arresting poems in the Collins collection, but mostly they were pretty OK.

  19. 3 out of 5

    Lindsey

    I don't think Billy Collins is the absolute best poet, but he is hands down my personal favorite. I loved this collection, just as I always love his collections, and some of the highlights here were "Bereft," "The Introduction," "Flock," "You, Reader," and "The Drawing Class." "The Lanyard," which happens to be one of my all-time favorite poems, is also in this volume; I first heard Collins read it several years ago on "A Prairie Home Companion," and it totally cracked me up. He's just the great I don't think Billy Collins is the absolute best poet, but he is hands down my personal favorite. I loved this collection, just as I always love his collections, and some of the highlights here were "Bereft," "The Introduction," "Flock," "You, Reader," and "The Drawing Class." "The Lanyard," which happens to be one of my all-time favorite poems, is also in this volume; I first heard Collins read it several years ago on "A Prairie Home Companion," and it totally cracked me up. He's just the greatest. (I'll stop gushing now.)

  20. 3 out of 5

    Cole

    A surprise "just because" gift from my friend Nathan, I read this book tonight in one sitting. I wanted to get out of the house, but no one was available, so I cracked the cover planning to read just one poem and ended up finishing the collection. Although graduate school has made me wonder if I will ever truly "read for pleasure" again (without a pen and a pencil and a higlighter and a straightedge in hand), Collins once again proved his poems are like butter cookies-- sweet, delicious and befo A surprise "just because" gift from my friend Nathan, I read this book tonight in one sitting. I wanted to get out of the house, but no one was available, so I cracked the cover planning to read just one poem and ended up finishing the collection. Although graduate school has made me wonder if I will ever truly "read for pleasure" again (without a pen and a pencil and a higlighter and a straightedge in hand), Collins once again proved his poems are like butter cookies-- sweet, delicious and before you know it, you've consumed the whole pack. Thanks, Nathan!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    This is the first I have read Billy Collins and I am glad to have come across him at this point. His verse is clear, concise and accessible. I don't know how appreciated he may be by younger readers, but he certainly appeals to my 40 something sensibility.

  22. 3 out of 5

    Anna W.

    I read probably 3/4ths of this. I liked several of the poems and reallllly liked The Lanyard and The Revenant. Very hard hitting but in very different ways. I couldn't be more vague.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

    A gentle reminder to keep looking out the window. A go-to book of poems perfect to read and re-read. Appreciating a gentle humor and perfectly chosen words. Two favorites: 'Special Glasses' and 'The Lanyard'

  24. 3 out of 5

    Emily

    Another amazing collection of poetry I checked out from my local library, from a poet I’ve never read before. Therefore, another collection I’ll want to purchase so I have my own copy. These are the types of works I want to travel with. I want to read them in many different places.

  25. 3 out of 5

    Blake Charlton

    collins makes me want to to break into the poems of others with a flashlight and a ski mask.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Pamala

    This book might be one of my favorites this year. Some of the poems pierced right through me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rogene Carter

    "The Trouble with Poetry" alone is one the funniest poems I have ever read.

  28. 3 out of 5

    Abigail

    Odd humor. Good read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    Several real classics in here. “The Lanyard" blew me away! A bit self-referential and knowingly clever for my tastes in the front half, but got steadily better. I look forward to reading more of him.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ray Zimmerman

    The book is a great read. This was my second time reading it, which is a testimony in itself. I particularly enjoyed, "The Lanyard," "The Trouble with Poetry," and "The Revenant." I recall him reading at Covenant College, which was a remarkable experience. Collins had made a tremendous effort to popularize poetry, not only his own, but poetry in general, particularly during his tenure as Poet Laureate of the United States. His poems have power but are also written in a highly readable and unders The book is a great read. This was my second time reading it, which is a testimony in itself. I particularly enjoyed, "The Lanyard," "The Trouble with Poetry," and "The Revenant." I recall him reading at Covenant College, which was a remarkable experience. Collins had made a tremendous effort to popularize poetry, not only his own, but poetry in general, particularly during his tenure as Poet Laureate of the United States. His poems have power but are also written in a highly readable and understandable style. Among poets, this is called accessible poetry. His approach has earned him

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