The Trouble With Poetry And Other Poems

Billy Collins is a poet for people who aren’t sure they like poetry, but are willing to give it a chance. He’s funny, accessible, human at the heart, and always reserves just a hint of mystery. There’s a certain kind of lit. teacher eternally ready to sneer at a poet like Collins because his kind of poetry is a threat to the cottage industry of explication and an affront to all who think literature needs 13 levels of deconstruction in order to be understood. But Collins, bless him, lets most everyone in, and the place he admits us to is the place where we already live, but made vivid, and rendered meaningful in ways we might not have noticed, or might not have found words to express. Buy the book for one poem alone—“Fool Me Good”—and then count the others as freebies. Among those free poems is “The Revenant,” written from the point of view of a dead dog. It’ll make you laugh and shake you up, at the same time.