Thursday, December 26, 2013

Review: Aimless Love - New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins

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 voice").

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 all.

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.

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