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The Trouble with Poetry: And Other Poems by…

The Trouble with Poetry: And Other Poems (2005)

by Billy Collins

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This small volume of poetry by Billy Collins was an unexpected pleasure to read. I tried to only read a couple of poems each time I picked up the book in order to actually think about what I was reading and how it was relevant to me. I do not read poetry on a regular basis so the most surprising thing of all about this book was how easy it was to read, this is a volume of poems that are about ordinary life, yet some of his prose captures life’s perfect moments so clearly that it leaves one amazed at his vision.

There are many moods to the writing from playful to graceful, ironic to vulnerable but at all times these are words to ponder. I am not saying that I totally understood the meaning of each poem, or exactly what Collins was revealing with each phrase, but there were many that did either speak to me or cause me to pause and think about what I was reading.

In the poem Monday he writes, “The poets are at their windows”, and windows seem to be a reoccurring theme in his writing. In The Trouble With Poetry, Billy Collins has invited his readers to look into his windows and discover how unexpected the ordinary can be. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jun 17, 2015 |
The trouble with poetry is/you can't eat it all/at once without/getting a rush, even if the lines are plain-spoken like this/and the sun is shining high and you are eating a fresh-picked apple without the kids around/and there's little melodrama in the poem or in your life, even if the poem is about love and sex and death, always death, even when eating an apple.

The Trouble With Poetry is worth reading for Billy Collins' fine lines! ( )
  cabockwrites | Sep 25, 2014 |
Billy Collins has a knack for taking the mundane, ordinary pieces of the world and extracting the fundamental, insightful or just plain humorous essence of it with an economy only a poet of exceptional skill can accomplish. The Trouble with Poetry takes it even further by exploiting some of the foibles of the poet caught in a modern world. Collins offers up an accessible style of freeform poetry that anyone can appreciate. However, it isn’t simplistic at all – more often than not multiple readings are necessary to begin to penetrate the nuances of his writing. Still, The Trouble with Poetry speaks in the conversational voice of that quirky but essential neighbor who you go to when you need someone to shine a different light on the world. I completely enjoyed this short collection and my only quibble was that I wanted more when I reached the last page. I suppose that is the essence of a successful poet. A great introduction to Billy Collins. ( )
  csayban | Jan 4, 2014 |
A good collection. I liked some better than others, of course, but an overall impression of being well-written. ( )
  NeitherNora | Sep 7, 2013 |
I love the everyday images that Collins evokes. Many of them also have a dry wit I find appealing. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 26, 2013 |
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My idea of paradise is a perfect automobile going thirty miles an hour on a smooth road to a twelfth-century cathedral. --Henry James
To my students and my teachers
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375755217, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:53 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A collection of poetry by America's former Poet Laureate features witty, insightful, and simple poems dealing with the themes of jazz, the passage of time, love, boyhood, and writing.

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