Billy Collins

(22 March 1941 - / New York City)

Billy Collins Poems

1. The Death of Allegory 9/18/2015
2. Some Days 11/3/2015
3. Writing In The Afterlife 5/14/2015
4. Man in Space 6/23/2015
5. Workshop 4/14/2015
6. Silence 4/24/2015
7. Morning 12/7/2015
8. The Lanyard 5/11/2015
9. The First Night 4/8/2015
10. Night Golf 3/9/2015
11. Christmas Sparrow 12/15/2014
12. The Names 10/5/2011
13. Study In Orange And White 1/13/2003
14. The Iron Bridge 1/13/2003
15. Tomes 1/13/2003
16. The Only Day In Existence 1/13/2003
17. Pinup 1/13/2003
18. Today 1/13/2003
19. Reading An Anthology Of Chinese Poems Of The Sung Dynasty, I Pause To Admire The Length And Clarity Of Their Titles 1/13/2003
20. The Best Cigarette 1/13/2003
21. Walking Across The Atlantic 1/13/2003
22. Thesaurus 1/13/2003
23. Nightclub 1/13/2003
24. For Bartleby The Scrivener 1/13/2003
25. Snow Day 1/13/2003
26. Neither Snow 1/13/2003
27. Nostalgia 1/13/2003
28. Consolation 1/13/2003
29. Dear Reader 1/13/2003
30. Man Listening To Disc 1/13/2003
31. The First Dream 1/13/2003
32. Shoveling Snow With Buddha 1/13/2003
33. Fishing On The Susquehanna In July 1/13/2003
34. The Art Of Drowning 1/13/2003
35. By A Swimming Pool Outside Syracusa 1/13/2003
36. Madmen 1/13/2003
37. Candle Hat 1/13/2003
38. I Go Back To The House For A Book 1/13/2003
39. Embrace 2/13/2007
40. I Chop Some Parsley While Listening To Art Blakey's Version Of "Three Blind Mice" 1/13/2003
Best Poem of Billy Collins


The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping ...

Read the full of Forgetfulness


The murkiness of the local garage is not so dense
that you cannot make out the calendar of pinup
drawings on the wall above a bench of tools.
Your ears are ringing with the sound of
the mechanic hammering on your exhaust pipe,
and as you look closer you notice that this month's
is not the one pushing the lawn mower, wearing
a straw hat and very short blue shorts,
her shirt tied in a knot just below her breasts.

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