Ballistics: Poems

I just read Ballistics: Poems, Billy Collins’ newest book of poetry ($9.99 at Amazon). Billy Collins has always been my favourite contemporary poet, since I first read him in one of my high school creative writing classes. I’ve always particularly felt something special for his poem “On Turning Ten”. I don’t suppose I should post any of his poems in full on my blog, but here are some of the titles that I particularly loved from Ballistics:

  • “The Four-Moon Planet” – how lovely and droll!
  • “January in Paris”
  • “Tension” – SO funny!
  • “The Effort” – great commentary on high school English, haha
  • “(detail)”
  • “Adage”
  • “The Great American Poem”

There’s just something about Billy Collins’ voice that sounds SO familiar and so real. It’s hard to explain but I feel somehow that he’s telling me things I already knew but wouldn’t have known how to express properly.

These lines from “Vermont, Early November” made me laugh out loud though:

…and I took in the scene from a porch,
a tableau of silo and weathervane
and a crowd of ferns on the edge of the woods –

nothing worth writing about really,
but it is too late to stop now
that the ferns and the silo have been mentioned.
(Location 546)


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