Opening Lines: Where Great Books Begin

Aimless New Love
Billy Collins

Reader

Looker, gazer, skimmer, skipper,
thumb-licking page turner, peruser,
you getting your print-fix for the day,
pencil-chewer, note taker, marginalianist
with your checks and X’s
first-timer or revisiter,
browser, speedster, English major,
flight-ready girl, melancholy boy,
invisible companion, thief, blind date, perfect stranger—
that is me rushing to the window
to see if it’s you passing under the shade trees
with a baby carriage or a dog on a leash,
me picking up the phone
to imagine your unimaginable number,
me standing by a map of the world
wondering where you are—
alone on a bench in a train station
or falling asleep, the book sliding to the floor.

http://www.amazon.com/Aimless-Love-New-Selected-Poems-ebook/dp/B00CK8CLJ8/ref=zg_bsnr_10248_4#reader_B00CK8CLJ8
READER

Editorial Reviews
From Booklist
Collins, or the speaker in his poems, watches himself with helpless bemusement as he lives “a life of continual self-expression, / jotting down little things.” Obsessive “noticing” gets him into all sorts of trouble, as recounted so wryly, so tenderly in “Aimless Love,” the poem that gives this vital and shrewdly provocative volume its title and in which the speaker records his sequential ardor for a wren, a mouse, and a bar of soap. In selections from his four most recent collections, from Nine Horses (2002) to Horoscopes for the Dead (2011), and 51 glimmering new poems, former poet laureate and reader favorite Collins, the maestro of the running-brook line and the clever pivot, celebrates the resonance and absurdity of what might be called the poet’s attention-surfeit disorder. He nimbly mixes the timeless––the sun, loneliness—with the fidgety, digital now. Some poems are funny from the opening gambit to the closing flourish. But Collins’ droll wit is often a diversionary tactic, so that when he strikes you with the hard edge of his darker visions, you reel. –Donna Seaman

Review
“[Billy Collins] is able, with precious few words, to make me cry. Or laugh out loud. He is a remarkable artist. To have such power in such an abbreviated form is deeply inspiring.”—J.J. Abrams, The New York Times Book Review

“Layered, subtly witty poems that anyone can understand and appreciate—even those who don’t normally like poetry . . . [Collins] is wry, surprising, and effortlessly communicates the thoughts many readers wish they had thought or said themselves. . . . The Collins in these pages is distinctive, evocative, and knows how to make the genre fresh and relevant.”—The Christian Science Monitor

“Collins’s new poems contain everything you’ve come to expect from a Billy Collins poem. They stand solidly on even ground, chiseled and unbreakable. Their phrasing is elegant, the humor is alive, and the speaker continues to stroll at his own pace through the plainness of American life.”—The Daily Beast

“America’s favorite poet.”—The Wall Street Journal

“[Billy Collins’s] poetry presents simple observations, which create a shared experience between [him] and his readers, while further revealing how he takes life’s everyday humdrum experiences and makes them vibrant. While Collins’s previous collections have already validated his brilliance and staying power as a poet, he continues to reveal an ever-growing maturity.”—The Times Leader

“In selections from his four most recent collections . . . and fifty-one glimmering new poems, former poet laureate and reader favorite Collins, the maestro of the running-brook line and the clever pivot, celebrates the resonance and absurdity of what might be called the poet’s attention-surfeit disorder. . . . But Collins’ droll wit is often a diversionary tactic, so that when he strikes you with the hard edge of his darker visions, you reel.”—Booklist

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