Billy Collins

(22 March 1941 - / New York City)

Billy Collins Poems

41. Japan 1/13/2003
42. Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes 1/7/2004
43. I Chop Some Parsley While Listening To Art Blakey's Version Of "Three Blind Mice" 1/13/2003
44. Invention 1/13/2003
45. Child Development 1/13/2003
46. I Ask You 1/13/2003
47. Flames 1/13/2003
48. Litany 1/13/2003
49. On Turning Ten 1/13/2003
50. Introduction To Poetry 1/13/2003
51. Another Reason Why I Don'T Keep A Gun In The House 1/13/2003
52. Forgetfulness 1/13/2003

Comments about Billy Collins

  • Michael Shepherd (8/11/2009 9:21:00 AM)

    There’s a certain class of book
    I take with me to my pm nap:

    worth dipping into; more pleasurable
    for taking time over reading to its end;

    that leaves no shame when I doze off
    and it falls into my lap; a sweet waking dream;

    today it’s Billy Collins: ex-
    Poet Laureate or should that be
    Poet ex-Laureate since he’s still writing
    in that laid-back manner that goes with
    recliner chairs and a nap that’s natural;

    for me, he’s still Laureate, anyway;
    and in my dreamy state, I like to indulge

    in an undemanding game, best played
    between the waking and that dreaming state
    which Hindus name as swapna; and I like the name;
    (its alternative, prajna, sounds too much like work) :

    the game is, nail the character
    in just two lines, no more, of Shakes-pa-herian pastiche:

    Methinks he hath a wily, wayward charm,
    under guise of which he arrows heav’n.

    160 person liked.
    189 person did not like.
  • Katie Finley (7/12/2006 7:48:00 PM)

    I saw Billy Collins when he came to Boston College and the occasion marked one of the most special moments in my (albeit brief) lifetime. If you get the opportunity to see him, take it!
    My favourite poems are 'On Turning Ten' and 'Love'. He is one of the poets I love best.

  • John F (4/25/2006 2:50:00 PM)

    I work with some people who have created some amazing animated poetry pieces featuring poems by Billy Collins. It's a series of 10 or so and they are very well done. It's Billy Collins himself reading the poems with animation used to bring them to life.

    http: //video.google.com/videosearch? q=Billy+Collins

    Hope you have a moment to take a look. I'm trying to help the creators get their work some more attention! !

  • Beth Harrington-howes (1/24/2006 12:42:00 PM)

    Going to hear him speak tonight.

  • Beth Harrington-howes (1/24/2006 12:42:00 PM)

    Going to hear him speak tonight.

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

Madmen

They say you can jinx a poem
if you talk about it before it is done.
If you let it out too early, they warn,
your poem will fly away,
and this time they are absolutely right.

Take the night I mentioned to you
I wanted to write about the madmen,
as the newspapers so blithely call them,

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