The Trouble With Poetry: And Other Poems

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Random House LLC, 2007 - Poetry - 88 pages
240 Reviews
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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I loved the imagery of this book. - Goodreads
The poems are easy to read and understand. - Goodreads
Love his imagery, humor, and . . . more as I read - Goodreads
The Introduction" is classic. - Goodreads

Review: The Trouble With Poetry - And Other Poems

User Review  - Sarah Ansani - Goodreads

Billy Collins is always alone with imaginary or desired company which is why I am always drawn to him. Of the books of his that I've read, this one is the loneliest. Billy Collins seems to have had ... Read full review

Review: The Trouble With Poetry - And Other Poems

User Review  - Melissa Amaral - Goodreads

Poetry is not my forte, nor do I claim to know anything about it, but for me, these poems are just observations of the outside world rather than insights on the human experience. Perhaps I am not ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Billy Collins is the author of seven collections of poetry, including Nine Horses, Sailing Alone Around the Room, Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, and Picnic, Lightning. He is also the editor of Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry and 180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day. A distinguished professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York, he was Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. He currently serves as the Poet Laureate of New York State.

From the Hardcover edition.

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