Billy Collins

(22 March 1941 - / New York City)

Billy Collins
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(born William James Collins) is an American poet, appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. He is a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York and is the Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute, Florida. Collins was recognized as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library (1992) and selected as the New York State Poet for 2004-2006.

Early Years

Collins was born in New York City to William and Katherine Collins. Katherine Collins was a nurse who stopped working to raise the couple's only child. Mrs. Collins had the ability to recite verses on almost any subject, which she often did, and ... more »

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Comments about Billy Collins

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  • Joseph Pedulla (5/12/2018 1:24:00 PM)

    To Chris Robideaux: Dear Chris, I stopped by the site to read a few poems and, in so doing, read again your comment on the so-called poetry of Billy Collins. I have to tell you that your comment is perhaps the most intelligent and articulate assessment of this man's poor excuse for poetry that I have ever read! It gives me such joy to see someone out there who understands what a fraud this guy really is! Keep up the good work! Never flinch!

  • margaret (5/1/2018 1:53:00 AM)

    poems of towns and cities

  • margaret (5/1/2018 1:52:00 AM)

    billy Collins poetry of towns and cities

  • poems of towns and cities (5/1/2018 1:44:00 AM)

    need these for homework

  • Dr Carole Weaver (4/2/2018 8:55:00 AM)

    I am looking for a Billy Collins' poem on old people's homes.

  • Gulzar Hussain ranjoor (3/30/2018 8:38:00 AM)

    Nice poems

  • your mom (3/14/2018 2:27:00 PM)

    this was a very good poem site

  • 12345 words (3/5/2018 12:08:00 PM)

    G+ in my book

  • Donna DeHaan (2/20/2018 7:29:00 PM)

    What is the name of the poem written about his dog?

  • Wilson Lanford (1/15/2018 9:41:00 AM)

    Poetry is very individual in form. Collins poems are conversational which I like. If you don't like his poetry you wouldn't like Seamus Haney either. Some poetry is great, some stinks. People who use a few words to describe a tree and throw in Greek goddesses are an example.. When I read Collins, I feel I know something about him. Not everyone has to like his writing. He does it for himself anyway.

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Best Poem of Billy Collins

Forgetfulness

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
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