Sailing Alone Around the Room

New and Selected Poems

Collins, Billy

(Book - 2001)
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Sailing Alone Around the Room
"High, most encouraging tidings"--that is how Billy Collins, the widely read and widely acclaimed poet, describes the music in his poem about the gospel singing group The Sensational Nightingales. The same phrase applies, just as joyfully, to the arrival of Sailing Alone Around the Room , a landmark collection of new and selected poems by this Guggenheim Fellow, NPR contributor, New York Public Library "Literary Lion," and incomparably popular performer of his own good works. From four earlier collections, which have secured for him a national reputation, Collins offers the lyric equivalent of an album of Greatest Hits. In "Forgetful-ness," memories of the contents of a novel "retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain, to a little fishing village where there are no phones." In "Osso Buco," a poem about gustatory pleasure, the "lion of content-ment" places a warm heavy paw on the poet's chest. In "Marginalia," he catalogs the scrawled comments of books' previous readers: " 'Absolutely,' they shout to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin. 'Yes.' 'Bull's-eye.' 'My man!' " And he also serves us a generous portion of new poems, including "Man Listening to Disc," a jazz trip with headphones, and "The Iron Bridge," a wildly speculative, moving elegy. Whether old or new, these poems will catch their readers by exhilarating surprise. They may begin with irony and end in lyric transcendence. They may open with humor and close with grief. They may, and often do, begin with the everyday and end with infinity. Wise, funny, sad, stealthy, and always perfectly clear, these poems will not be departing for that little fishing village with no phones for a long, long time. Billy Collins, possessed of a unique lyric voice, is one of American poetry's most sensational nightingales.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2001
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0375503803
Branch Call Number: 811.5 C712s 2001
Characteristics: 171 p. ;,22 cm


From Library Staff

List - 10 years of books by: multcolib_lauralw May 12, 2014

These poems show Collins at his best, performing the kinds of distinctive poetic maneuvers that have delighted and fascinated so many readers. ~Billy Collins' poetry is fantastic.

Comment by: multcolib_lauralw Feb 10, 2014

New to poetry? Billy Collins will lead the way down the poetry path.

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Collins's poems make me smile frequently. He's witty and funny. He's also serious sometimes. His poem "Introduction to Poetry" made me think of my middle school experience. He nailed it.

Feb 10, 2014
  • multcolib_lauralw rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

New to poetry? Billy Collins will lead the way down the poetry path.


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