Billy Collins

(22 March 1941 - / New York City)

Forgetfulness - Poem by 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
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Comments about Forgetfulness by Billy Collins

  • Wes Dixon (11/25/2015 3:05:00 PM)


    One of my favorites...one of several I memorized so I can carry it with me always... (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Panmelys Panmelys (3/28/2015 8:14:00 AM)


    One who can critic is mediocre, so I'll just keep my thoughts to myself, my school motto was: Think of all you speak, but speak not all you Think. It's often helped in many instances in life ramble. A good poem all the same, well
    organized. Panmelys
    (Report) Reply

  • (2/6/2015 11:50:00 AM)


    Mostly what I like about Collins is his great sense of humour.... But this poem is so sensual, so wonderfully written, so intimate - I like it on its own! (Report) Reply

  • (9/18/2014 12:56:00 PM)


    Well, I find it hard to believe that Billy Collins suffers this forgetfulness, for his mind is still so sharp and his poems to clever and articulate. But this definitely speaks to me. I tried one on this same subject, not realizing that Collins had beat me to it - and, oh, so much better. Along with Wendell Berry, Mary Oliver, and Andrew Hudgins, he's #! on my list of living poets. But, alas, I have no memory of how I first learned of his work. (Report) Reply

  • Ange Lobue (6/28/2014 11:31:00 AM)


    “Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break.” (Report) Reply

  • Ange Lobue (6/28/2014 11:31:00 AM)


    “Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak whispers the o'er-fraught heart, and bids it break.” (Report) Reply

  • (6/18/2014 11:09:00 AM)


    .........our brains are an exotic flower....and someday it will wilt and fade away....and our memories will blow away with the wind... (Report) Reply

  • (10/7/2013 10:05:00 AM)


    I really like this poem by What's-His-Name. (Report) Reply

  • Queeny Gona (8/28/2013 6:49:00 AM)


    Fantastic write Deat Collins Sir! Anyone can forget anything at anytime in one's life. (Report) Reply

  • Katherine Hunter (1/5/2013 1:11:00 AM)


    whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall

    I was not too impressed with this poem until laughing hysterically at that line.
    : -) Ok, you got me.
    (Report) Reply

  • (12/9/2012 9:04:00 AM)


    For those of you that like to give so many thumbs down and are so critical of this wonderful, polished, humerous art, I suggest you write your own poem on negativity. You are an expert in that field. (Report) Reply

  • Sue S. (4/17/2012 3:01:00 PM)


    This poem is wonderful. What a tender and empathic understanding. (Report) Reply

  • (3/14/2010 7:56:00 PM)


    Only people that are going through this forgetfulness can appreciate this fine write. It is so true. that is why we have to exercise our brains, by writing and reading, so we don't go to much down south of our brains....... (Report) Reply

  • (1/3/2010 6:14:00 PM)


    The Lethe river is a true coupe de plume. The muses as well. A real Billy Collins masterpiece. (Report) Reply

  • (11/12/2009 4:45:00 PM)


    Greenwolfe-
    In this poem, Collins chooses to write free verse as is a growing trend in contemporary poetry, popularized by Walt Whitman. Just because a poem does not have an identifiable rhyme scheme does not mean it is prose. A poet's choice to employ free verse is significant and meaningful in and of itself. furthermore, this poem is rich in metaphor and allusion, particularly to Greek Mythology, concerning the river Lethe (river of forgetfulness in the underworld) , the nine muses whose mother was Mnemosyne (personification of memory) . Also, the progression of memory loss throughout the poem is symbolic of the loss of memory throughout life. This poem is inundated with poetical devices, it merely takes an experienced and knowledgeable reader to fully understand and appreciate its nuanced complexity. Not all poems must end with a life-altering epiphany. This poem is a witty reflection on the nature of human memory loss, and a wonderful contribution by Collins to the world of contemporary poetry.
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/12/2009 4:44:00 PM)


    Greenwolfe-
    In this poem, Collins chooses to write free verse as is a growing trend in contemporary poetry, popularized by Walt Whitman. Just because a poem does not have an identifiable rhyme scheme does not mean it is prose. A poet's choice to employ free verse is significant and meaningful in and of itself. furthermore, this poem is rich in metaphor and allusion, particularly to Greek Mythology, concerning the river Lethe (river of forgetfulness in the underworld) , the nine muses whose mother was Mnemosyne (personification of memory) . Also, the progression of memory loss throughout the poem is symbolic of the loss of memory throughout life. This poem is inundated with poetical devices, it merely takes an experienced and knowledgeable reader to fully understand and appreciate its nuanced complexity. Not all poems must end with a life-altering epiphany. This poem is a witty reflection on the nature of human memory loss, and a wonderful contribution by Collins to the world of contemporary poetry.
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/17/2008 9:04:00 PM)


    What? I told I have to write 20 characters. Why? (Report) Reply

  • (9/1/2008 3:55:00 AM)


    I just heard the name of Billy Collins a few weeks ago, and I thought that at
    some point I would read one of his better poems before making any comment on him. This is the poem I chose to read and these are my first comments. In the
    first place, I noticed this was not a poem. It is prose. Second, he decides that
    the purpose of this is to talk about forgetfulness. So, that is what he does. He says some things about it, but at the end he really has no revelation to convey.
    His clarity was good for the most part. There are no particular things that one
    might wish to remember from this piece. Perhaps, he has decided that since
    things are all going to be forgotten anyway, there is no point in being memorable.
    If that were the purpose of this piece then it may be remembered. Otherwise,
    it shall be another victim of its title.

    GW62
    (Report) Reply

  • (6/17/2008 11:43:00 PM)


    I'm 64 and there's just no saying, 'it ain't so' because it just is. (Report) Reply

  • (11/13/2007 9:25:00 PM)


    Wow. So true. I am only an 8th grader and I appreciate your work. That's a realy good thing, (Report) Reply



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