This is a review I recently posted on LibraryThing, Amazon, and GoodReads:
This is a "recent best of..." collection that has both funny and serious poems,
each with that unique narrative Billy Collins voice ("that isn't the author's
There are a lot of contemporary poets out there today who don't
like Billy Collins because he is accessible to "non-elites." The average person
can pick up a book of his poetry and enjoy it. His poems speak on many levels,
so it is quite simple to read a work of his and enjoy it at face value. But a
person can also look deeper and find those little abstractions, bits of
symbolism, and other aspects present in literature and poetry. It is this
ability that makes Collins a good poet, and makes him exceptionally talented to
continue to pursue one of his passions -- to bring the joy of poetry to the
widest audience possible. Poetry shouldn't be restricted to the academics, it
shouldn't be restricted to an elite few, it should be shared with
This book does that.
How else could a book of poetry be
discussed on The Colbert Report and include an entertaining interview with
Collins (and a co-reading with Stephen Colbert of "To My Favorite 17-Year-Old
High School Girl")?
If you're looking for a good entrance into the world
of poetry, you won't go wrong with this. If you've enjoyed Billy Collins in the
past, then this book absolutely must become a part of your collection. And if
you don't like Collins because you're a (jealous) elitist, then go away.