Thursday, November 11, 2010


Billy Collins

The title poem sets the tone for this latest contribution from the former Poet Laureate of the United States. Collins speculates as to what book may have been the victim in Edgerton’s famous stop action photograph. We see the bullet piercing the cover of a book, but the title is not discernable. Typical of his often used dry humor, his list of possible volumes seems to be a suggestion of various books he would not miss, would suggest sacrificing.
Collins concludes that the book in the picture must be a work of poems, a book by a fellow poet of whom he is not fond. He imagines the bullet piercing the author’s photograph adorned with that “…special poet’s hat he loves to wear.”
Collins writes poetry that is, above all, accessible. He is perhaps unique in having achieved commercial success as a contemporary poet. If you have friends who believe they don’t like poetry, have them try reading Billy Collins. His work could be a gateway for them.

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