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Nine Horses: Poems
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Nine Horses: Poems

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  4,019 Ratings  ·  246 Reviews
This is poet Billy Collins first collection of new poems in four years, and it follows on the heels of the runaway success of "Sailing Alone Around the Room."
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published April 2nd 2003 by Random House (NY) (first published 2002)
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Feb 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry-drama
Let me start by saying: I KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ABOUT POETRY! In grad school I intentionally steered clear of any class that had to analyze poetry in any aspect. It’s not that I was afraid of the work; it was more that the work overwhelmed me. How does one exactly go about analyzing the thoughts of a person when the words are directed at allusions and people and places and times that the reader may have little to no knowledge of?

Years have passed since my chickening out, and I have decided to
David Barbero
Dec 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

"you are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine."
-- jacques crickillon

you are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
you are the dew on the morning grass,
and the burning wheel of the sun.
you are the white apron of the baker
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

however, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
and you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
there is no way you are the pine-scented air.

it is possible
MacKenzie Cook
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Collins sings right to my heart. He makes me grateful for mortality by pointing out bars of soap and roadkill. Who would have thought the way to keep moving forward would be a “miniature orange tree” or stanzas dedicated to single stalks of asparagus?
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, read-in-2013
I would not call myself a fan of poetry by any stretch of the imagination. I avoided poetry classes as much as possible while getting my English degree, and suffered and rolled my eyes through the ones I had to take. This is an enormous generalization, but poetry usually feels to me like it's obscure for the sake of obscurity. "If I hide my thoughts beneath 8 different layers of allusion and metaphor and break them up into nearly meaningless little fragments, I'll look deep and thoughtful and ar ...more
Hansen Wendlandt
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Nine Horses was the first time I've ever gone immediately online to order the rest of an author's works. It's as good as poetry can get for someone who appreciates poetry without any formal study. Collins has an impeccable style, longer poems than Dickinson (which can just scroll by), but short enough to keep full attention. Shakespeare might push layers of meaning onto single words, but Collins has an uncanny way of using a straightfoward line that means one thing with the previou ...more
Jul 01, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Billy Collins! I have read most of this book, I like to pick it up now and again when I need to be reminded of what honest and uninhibited writing is like. Some of the poems I have read multiple times others I have yet to read.
Matthew Huff
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marvelous. Collins' ability to transform a seemingly mundane detail into a poetic cosmos is simply excellent. He's got a lot of winners in this collection.
Maybe its me, but I felt like a large number of these poems were meditations on mortality.

And then there is "Litany," which begins with a quote from one Jacques Crickillon: "You are the bread and the knife, the crystal goblet and the wine," but then goes on to exclaim "You are not the pine-scented air. There is no way you are the pine-scented air."

And it seems that the extremely ugly cover is actually a piece of art he has up in his dining room. To each his own.
Kristy K
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, 2017
3.5 Stars
Nov 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nine Horses is a collection of poetry for those of us who have attained some of the patience and wisdom that come with middle age. "We must always look at things from the point of view of eternity," he says in "Velocity," and the book is a celebration of the subtlety of life, the beauty in inanimate objects we normally take for granted and those moments in time absent of the drama humans seem to crave - romance, riches, the thrill of victory.

If the poet were younger, Collins admits, "I might be
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Poetry Readers Ch...: Nine Horses by Billy Collins 8 24 Jul 22, 2013 12:25PM  
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William A. ("Billy") Collins is an American poet. He served two terms as the Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. In his home state, Collins has been recognized as a Literary Lion of the New York Public Library (1992) and selected as the New York State Poet for 2004.
More about Billy Collins...