Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Poet Billy Collins and his delectable 'trouble'

Ex-Poet Laureate Billy Collins read tonight at B&N Union Square. I'm going to go out on a limb and say he's one of the funniest and most accessible literary poets out there today. He had the audience laughing the whole way through - from his wry but affable introduction through the slew of poems that he read, some from his new book, The Trouble with Poetry and Other Poems, but lots of others that he's written since the latest collection was compiled or older ones.

His poems are among those that can be easily grasped upon first hearing/reading, but also reveal deeper layers upon further reflection. Many of them problematize poetry or others' ideas about poetry, often to the readers' amusement, but end up championing the art by their very success. At times, he is like a perfumist who knows how little of each ingredient is necessary to create the right scent. Not too sarcastic, not too sentimental. So often: Just right.

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