Pin It
Favorite

Book Review 

by KEVIN TAYLOR & r & The Trouble With Poetry by Billy Collins & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & T & lt;/span & here's the trouble with poetry and then the trouble with reading poetry on deadline. Let's take the latter first, shall we?





I read this book in a hurry and can write only a few honest sentences about it. But at least I made it inside.





How many times have I flung myself against a book of poetry that bruised my shoulders, fractured my wrists, as I tore my fingers on the marbled column, scrabbling for the hidden latch that would let me in?





That's the trouble with poetry. So much seems written to keep me out, as if I was a serf whose feet cannot soil the inlay of the stanzas.





Billy Collins, thanks be to god, writes poetry with plain wooden floors. His poems rise to rarified heights, but anybody can stand in the room and look around.





His pen connects, "me at this table with a bowl of pears / you leaning in a doorway somewhere / near some blue hydrangeas, reading this."





Which is why I like Billy Collins. He is still the only poet laureate of the United States who I can name without Googling. And it's because, in The Trouble With Poetry, he invites us into the poems, to share a beer, to stand by a window.





But it's a quicksilver kind of simple where, in the skip from one word to the next, you find yourself considering the room from a completely different corner. I love the way he references his tools - his pen, a sheet of paper - as the implements of this magic. One minute you are taking an amiable stroll as he points out the quiet of the morning street. The next, he tells you he breaks the silence with his pen and suddenly you are in a flip book of expanding images getting from the quiet street to whatever table a poet sits at to write.





So I can tell you two things: For a slim book I read in an evening to write this before bed, I want to read The Trouble With Poetry again. And again.





And this: "When at a loss for an ending, have some brown hens standing in the rain."

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Ryan's Last Ride
  • Ryan's Last Ride

    Ryan Holyk's family is still searching for answers in the bicycle accident that cost him his life
    • Apr 15, 2015
  • Idaho Against the World
  • Idaho Against the World

    Idaho lawmakers weaken child-support efforts; plus, who really believes in climate change?
    • Apr 15, 2015
  • Don't Test Me
  • Don't Test Me

    The Smarter Balanced standardized test has sparked a rebellion in Western Washington — and it's spreading
    • Apr 15, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
National Geographic Live: Untamed Antarctica

National Geographic Live: Untamed Antarctica @ INB Performing Arts Center

Tue., April 21, 7-9 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Don't Test Me

    The Smarter Balanced standardized test has sparked a rebellion in Western Washington — and it's spreading
    • Apr 15, 2015
  • Restore the Honesty

    Re-establishing trust with the public will require courage on the part of our elected officials
    • Apr 8, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

marijuana


Briefs


Comment


Publisher's Note


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation