Thursday, August 4, 2011

Poetry for Skeptics

Maybe you're not usually the kind of person who curls up with a mug of tea and a volume of poetry on lazy summer nights; maybe you haven't read many poems since your high school English teacher assigned something that just seemed long and confusing. If your conception of poetry primarily consists of dusty tomes filled with poems written by dead poets, or if your reading tastes veer towards thoughtful, well-written novels, you should stop everything, right now, and go find a book by former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins. His brand new collection of poems is called Horoscopes For the Dead, and the one before that is Ballistics. The poems in both these books (as well as his earlier titles) focus on everyday themes and are written in beautiful, clear verse. They are often funny, sometimes poignant, and never stuffy or standoffish. Billy Collins has a way of making the ordinary seem extraordinary--or at least worth noticing.  Full of contrasts, surprises, and vivid imagery, these poems should be savored in a hammock, on a porch, beside a pool--anywhere you can relax and allow the words to settle into your bones. These poems are the perfect cure for the midsummer blues.
~Queen of Books

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