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Billy Collins: Styles and Techniques

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Jasmine Salem

on 16 December 2013

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Transcript of Billy Collins: Styles and Techniques

Billy Collins
Lightens heavy topics
"No Time"
"The Country"
"The Lanyard"- Memory
"Snow Day"-Childhood
Shifts in time
"The Lanyard"
"No cookie nibbled by a French Novelist/could send one more suddenly into the past-"
Shifts in who the subject is referring to
"Some Days"
Present in seemingly every poem
Feels relatable, personal
"I", "You", "We"
The Lanyard
Aid in shifts
Collins describes poetry as "middle-class"
Writes about ordinary things, ordinary events, ordinary people
A snow day, shopping for a mattress, a day at summer camp.
Reconsider the significance of the ordinary
Works Cited
"Billy Collins." : The Poetry Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2013.

"Billy Collins." 'billy Collins' N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2013.

"Nostalgia." By Billy Collins : The Poetry Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2013.

"Poetry Magazine." May 2004 :. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2013.

"Poetry Magazine." No Time by Billy Collins :. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2013.
Billy Collins: Poetry style
Personal Pronouns
The Use of Personal Pronouns
Poetry for All to
No Time
In a rush this weekday morning,
I tap the horn as I speed past the cemetery
where my parents are buried
side by side beneath a slab of smooth granite.

Then, all day, I think of him rising up
to give me that look
of knowing disapproval
while my mother calmly tells him to lie back down.
"I Wondered about you/
Who could sleep that night?/
Who could fail to notice..."
Remember the 1340s? We were doing a dance called the Catapult.
You always wore brown, the color craze of the decade,
and I was draped in one of those capes that were popular,
the ones with unicorns and pomegranates in needlework.
Everyone would pause for beer and onions in the afternoon,
and at night we would play a game called “Find the Cow.”
Everything was hand-lettered then, not like today.

Even this morning would be an improvement over the present.
I was in the garden then, surrounded by the hum of bees
and the Latin names of flowers, watching the early light
flash off the slanted windows of the greenhouse
and silver the limbs on the rows of dark hemlocks.
Some days
put the people in their places at the table,
bend their legs at the knees,
if they come with that feature,
and fix them into the tiny wooden chairs.

All afternoon they face one another,
the man in the brown suit,
the woman in the blue dress,
perfectly motionless, perfectly behaved.

But other days,
am the one
who is lifted up by the ribs,
then lowered into the dining room of a dollhouse
to sit with the others at the long table.

Very funny,
but how would
like it
if you never knew from one day to the next
if you were going to spend it

striding around like a vivid god,
your shoulders in the clouds,
or sitting down there amidst the wallpaper,
staring straight ahead with your little plastic face?

The boy at the far end of the train car kept looking behind him
as if he were afraid or expecting someone

And the reason I am writing this...
Full transcript