The Rain in Portugal: Poems
From former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins comes a twelfth collection of poetry offering nearly 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 ar...more
His writing is whimsical, imaginative and accessible. His topics range from far away places, to cats and dogs, from life and death to art and rock ‘n roll stars, from love to feelings that are h ...more
A sumptuous collection of new poems from Billy Collins, a lifelong New Yorker (from an Irish/Canadian family) who was Poet Laureate for the U.S. from 2001 to 2003.
I love his irresistibly rustic poetry that is nearly as accessible as it is poignant.
My favorites included:
The ruins were taking their time falling apart,
stones that once held up other stones
now scattered on top of one another
as if many centuries had to pass ...more
My favorites were his imaginings about having siblings or if his mother we're still alive because those had such depth of emotion for just a few lines.
Sweet, short, smart perfection.
Billy Collins may be the only person saving poetry from popular death. He is magnificent. Try him. Even if high school English class killed your desire to ever read a poem again.
Collins breaks the stereotype of the stiff and stern poet. His writing is clear and he has ...more
The thinnest of ...more
I love Billy Collins: his unpretentious but evocative language, his light but subtly existential tones, his exactitude and thoughtfulness. I feel bad for him sometimes, partially because he's been so successful. It must suck to have had to have been the Poet Laureate of George W Bush, for instance, and for all the public exposure, people thinking the poems are just there to be laughed with, funny though they often are. It's not always easy to be considered "America's favorite poet" I'd bet.
Billy Collins is his usual, offhand self here, but the effort appears mailed in. It's like he decided that not only may we reject formalism, but also any pretense to quality. A thin submission.
That said, his elegiac homage to a male piss was brilliant (if also aware of its audience):
It’s very peaceful pissing under the stars or beneath the mild colors of twilight, so refreshing to take a deep breath outdoors then exhale all the woes of the day and even the longer woes and thorn ...more
I have read several poems by Billy Collins previously, and have also heard him performing some (online), so I was interested in reading this, his latest volume of poetry (to be published in October 2016).
There were more than 50 poems in this collection. I read all of them, and 20 of them more than once.
My favourites of them were ' Hendrik Goltzius's "Icarus" (1588)' (with its links to W.H. Auden's poem "Musée des Beaux Arts'), 'Portrait', and 'The Day After Tomorrow' (with ...more
I love that Collins doesn't try to obscure his meaning. The premises of his poems are often simple observances, but they stick with you for their humor or because they have a way of flipping an everyday situation on its head.
However, every now and then, he sneaks in a wistful poem that speaks to the impermanence of life, and these were my favorites. Yet it's the volume as a whole that makes him my n ...more
These pleased me. Several of them start out as banal, but then take a clever and serious turn; Collins is almost always playing with expectations, and deliberately twisting the familiar. The title comes, obviously, fro ...more
I found it relaxing, friendly, never intense although at times poignant. The only distraction was line spacing to divide poems into three line stanzas for ease of legibility more ...more
A huge pleasure to read. I'm tempted to read it over again right away. The best were his reflections on his loneliness and on how much he misses his parents, poems which, somehow, Collins keeps free of self-seriousness.