Sara's Reviews > The Trouble With Poetry - And Other Poems

The Trouble With Poetry - And Other Poems by Billy Collins
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's review
May 14, 12

did not like it
Read from April 12 to May 14, 2012

After being disgusted by Ballistics, I didn't figure I'd ever pick up Billy again. But I found his poems multiple times in anthologies, and liked them. I was surprised to realize they were his, because they were so good. And so I found another book hoping I'd like him. I don't. Those poems I liked were earlier, much earlier, from the nineties. Everything I've found more recent is worse. So unless I find his very first book of poems, I won't seek out any more Billy.
I should note what I don't like. Mainly, these poems say "I sat" "I thought" "I said" and proceed to tell us exactly what he said, thought, and sat on. If an idea outside of his (mundane) life makes it in, that idea is killed by a last line like "and reached for the towel that was so far away" (paraphrased). I like some poets' poems of their lives. Billy just thinks his bath is the most important thing that never happened to me. And it isn't.
Also his beats, which I can't call rhythm, merge exactly with a dripping shower head. No flow, no rhythm, just plunkplunkplop. Awful.
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Reading Progress

03/09 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Nasim (new)

Nasim I haven't read any Billy Collins; shame/not shame on me.

message 2: by Sara (new) - rated it 1 star

Sara Not shame. Here, I'll link you to a few of the very few poems I like of his. They're still not stunning, just comparatively with the rest of him.
I felt shamed that I hadn't, since he was US poet laureate and blah blah So Accessible blah blah.... I suppose I don't like 'accessible' poets at all; they're too obvious and so un-subtle.

message 3: by Nasim (new)

Nasim I didn't like most of the first poem; the last stanza came as a pleasant surprise, as the rest I skimmed through with barely any interest. Paradoxically, I liked no.2 more, though I'm no fan of Dickinson.

message 4: by Sara (new) - rated it 1 star

Sara Exactly. I just like that last stanza.

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