The Trouble with Poetry is the new collection from probably the most popular poet in the entire planet, and finds everyone's favourite contemporary Pre-Socratic in as funny and wise (and sometimes joyfully silly) form as ever. Billy Collins's tone is inimitable. Drawled and knowing, yet without a hint of world-weariness or cynicism, he fearlessly addresses the reader as friend and intimate -- and comrade, inviting them to square up to the various collective crises of the bald ape in the 21st century. Collins remains the only poet who can write about the next-to-nothing of our lives, the little boredoms, habits and frustrations of our daily and domestic existence, revealing their true importance and meaning -- and demonstrating that the same historical and cosmic forces bear upon them as upon the great events of the age. 'Billy Collins is one of my favourite poets in the world' Carol Ann Duffy 'I'd follow this man's mind anywhere' Michael Donaghy 'Billy Collins's poems describe all the worlds that are and were and some others besides' John Updike
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “America’s favorite poet.”—The Wall Street Journal From the two-term Poet Laureate of the United States Billy Collins comes his first volume of new and selected poems in twelve years. Aimless Love combines fifty new poems with generous selections from his four most recent books—Nine Horses, The Trouble with Poetry, Ballistics, and Horoscopes for the Dead. Collins’s unmistakable voice, which brings together plain speech with imaginative surprise, is clearly heard on every page, reminding us how he has managed to enrich the tapestry of contemporary poetry and greatly expand its audience. His work is featured in top literary magazines such as The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Atlantic, and he sells out reading venues all across the country. Appearing regularly in The Best American Poetry series, his poems appeal to readers and live audiences far and wide and have been translated into more than a dozen languages. By turns playful, ironic, and serious, Collins’s poetry captures the nuances of everyday life while leading the reader into zones of inspired wonder. In the poet’s own words, he hopes that his poems “begin in Kansas and end in Oz.” Touching on the themes of love, loss, joy, and poetry itself, these poems showcase the best work of this “poet of plenitude, irony, and Augustan grace” (The New Yorker). Envoy Go, little book, out of this house and into the world, carriage made of paper rolling toward town bearing a single passenger beyond the reach of this jittery pen and far from the desk and the nosy gooseneck lamp. It is time to decamp, put on a jacket and venture outside, time to be regarded by other eyes, bound to be held in foreign hands. So off you go, infants of the brain, with a wave and some bits of fatherly advice: stay out as late as you like, don’t bother to call or write, and talk to as many strangers as you can. Praise for Aimless Love “[Billy Collins] is able, with precious few words, to make me cry. Or laugh out loud. He is a remarkable artist. To have such power in such an abbreviated form is deeply inspiring.”—J. J. Abrams, The New York Times Book Review “His work is poignant, straightforward, usually funny and imaginative, also nuanced and surprising. It bears repeated reading and reading aloud.”—The Plain Dealer “Collins has earned almost rock-star status. . . . He knows how to write layered, subtly witty poems that anyone can understand and appreciate—even those who don’t normally like poetry. . . . The Collins in these pages is distinctive, evocative, and knows how to make the genre fresh and relevant.”—The Christian Science Monitor “Collins’s new poems contain everything you've come to expect from a Billy Collins poem. They stand solidly on even ground, chiseled and unbreakable. Their phrasing is elegant, the humor is alive, and the speaker continues to stroll at his own pace through the plainness of American life.”—The Daily Beast “[Collins’s] poetry presents simple observations, which create a shared experience between Collins and his readers, while further revealing how he takes life’s everyday humdrum experiences and makes them vibrant.”—The Times Leader
"So welcome, readers, to a plurality of poets, a cornucopia of tropes, and a range of interests." -- From Billy Collins's introduction The Best American Poetry series offers a distinguished poet's selection of poems published in the course of a year. The guest editor for 2006 is Billy Collins, one of our most beloved poets, who has chosen poems of wit, humor, imagination, and surprise, in an array of styles and forms. The result is a celebration of the pleasures of poetry -- from Laura Cronk's marvelous "Sestina for the Newly Married" to the elegant limericks of R. S. Gwynn and from Reb Livingston on butter to Mark Halliday's "Refusal to Notice Beautiful Women." In his charming and candid introduction Collins explains how he chose seventy-five poems from among the thousands he considered. With insightful comments from the poets illuminating their work, and series editor David Lehman's thought-provoking foreword, The Best American Poetry 2006 is a brilliant addition to a series that links the most noteworthy verse and prose poems of our time to a readership as discerning as it is devoted to the art of poetry.
Selected and introduced by America's former poet laureate, a second innovative anthology of 180 works by leading contemporary poets features the work of Robert Bly, Jane Kenyon, Galway Kinnell, Sharon Olds, Franz Wright, Paul Muldoon, Edward Hirsch, and other notable writers. Original. 45,000 first printing.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins comes a twelfth collection of poetry offering over fifty new poems that showcase the generosity, wit, and imaginative play that prompted The Wall Street Journal to call him “America’s favorite poet.” The Rain in Portugal—a title that admits he’s not much of a rhymer—sheds Collins’s ironic light on such subjects as travel and art, cats and dogs, loneliness and love, beauty and death. His tones range from the whimsical—“the dogs of Minneapolis . . . / have no idea they’re in Minneapolis”—to the elegiac in a reaction to the death of Seamus Heaney. A student of the everyday, Collins here contemplates a weather vane, a still life painting, the calendar, and a child lost at a beach. His imaginative fabrications have Shakespeare flying comfortably in first class and Keith Richards supporting the globe on his head. By turns entertaining, engaging, and enlightening, The Rain in Portugal amounts to another chorus of poems from one of the most respected and familiar voices in the world of American poetry. Praise for The Rain in Portugal “Nothing in Billy Collins’s twelfth book . . . is exactly what readers might expect, and that’s the charm of this collection.”—The Washington Post “This new collection shows [Collins] at his finest. . . . Certain to please his large readership and a good place for readers new to Collins to begin.”—Library Journal “Disarmingly playful and wistfully candid.”—Booklist
Emily Dickinson lived as a recluse in Amherst, Massachusetts, dedicating herself to writing a "letter to the world"--the 1,775 poems left unpublished at her death in 1886. Today, Dickinson stands in the front rank of American poets. This enthralling collection includes more than four hundred poems that were published between Dickinson's death and 1900. They express her concepts of life and death, of love and nature, and of what Henry James called "the landscape of the soul." And as Billy Collins suggests in his Introduction, "In the age of the workshop, the reading, the poetry conference and festival, Dickinson reminds us of the deeply private nature of literary art."
The most notorious poet-critic of his generation, William Logan has defined our view of poets good and bad, interesting and banal, for more than three decades. Featured in the New York Times Book Review, the Times Literary Supplement, and the New Criterion, among other journals, Logan's eloquent, passionate prose never fails to provoke readers and poets, reminding us of the value and vitality of the critic's savage art. Like The Undiscovered Country: Poetry in the Age of Tin, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism, Our Savage Art features the corrosive wit and darkly discriminating critiques that have become the trademarks of Logan's style. Opening with a defense of the critical eye, this collection features essays on Robert Lowell's correspondence, Elizabeth Bishop's unfinished poems, the inflated reputation of Hart Crane, the loss of the New Critics, and a damning-and already highly controversial-indictment of an edition of Robert Frost's notebooks. Logan also includes essays on Derek Walcott and Geoffrey Hill, two crucial figures in the divided world of contemporary poetry, and an attempt to rescue the reputation of the nineteenth-century poet John Townsend Trowbridge. Short reviews consider John Ashbery, Anne Carson, Billy Collins, Rita Dove, Louise Glück, Jorie Graham, Robert Hass, Seamus Heaney, and dozens of others. Though he might be called a cobra with manners, Logan is a fervent advocate for poetry, and Our Savage Art continues to raise the standard of what the critic can do.