Billy Collins the U.S. Poet Laurate

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Billy Collins brings vivid imagery of things and depicting scenes through his words. Which connects reader to their own life and engages readers constantly. His works reflect great sense of humor, heartfelt, a moral knowledge, emotionally driven, which he gained from his mother. He is the most popular poet in America. He was the U.S. poet laureate 2001-2003. His work has to do with a sense that we are attempting, all the time, to create a logical, rational path through the day. Collin’s life can relate to the visualization setting, characters, and symbols, images that is connected to the poem called “Aimless Love”.

Billy Collins was born on March 22, 1941, in Manhattan, New York. His father William was from Ireland and mother Katherine from Canada. Growing up as a single child without any fight with siblings, and he was having a good life. His mother had the ability to memorize, and he gained it from her at early age. Which he used in his life as the form of poem. His mother Katherine Collins motivate him to use the words of love, which seems in his collection, and those books become the most selling books. Interestingly “out four books three are among the sixteen top selling poetry titles at the online book seller, Wedged among those by writers like E. E. Cummings, Robert Frost and Walt Whitman.” (weber, 1999 p. 4). Poem Aimless love is one of the great example of poem which is showered with love. Here he is discussing two kind of love according to the time and situation like he falls in love with wren in the morning and mouse in day, which seems he was talking about his wife as morning love and day about his fiancée. Then he falls for the seamstress in the evening even with her sewing machine, which must be his wife who was an architect. Quickly in the night he falls for hot bowl of broth representing new relation as smoke from naval battle. He was having battle of conflict between the love for his wife and the new women who was going to be his fiancée soon. Finally, he gets divorced with wife is represented in poem as the shadow of autumn evening and love of his fiancée as best love where he was not supposed to make any commitments, or present a gift present gift and no suspension with phone issues.

According to The Wall Street Journal, “Collins wrote his first poem in the early 1950s when he was 10. He was in the backseat of his parent’s car as his father drove up New York’s FDR Drive. He saw a large sailboat on the East River and asked his mother for a pen. He wanted to write down how he felt. ” (W.S., 2017, p. 1). Similarly, he is explaining how he felt to the love of his life in this poem. His skills to write romantic poem, abstracting from real and his own life reflects directly in this poem. Since, there were two different people in his love life he is presenting both love life in positive and inspiring way. He is describing his exciting journey to his fiancée in the form of love with chestnut, Jazz cap and riding a car with one hand in wheel while in the other hand he is emotionally unstable due to the death of his mother reflected as darkness and end of love with mother in the form of dead mouse. This conflict is keeping the gratitude alive in this poem. He says he found himself in bathroom gazing down at soap, broken after he buried the dead this poem.He was the influence from death of his mother.

He earned a BA from the College of the Holy Cross, and both an MA and PhD from the University of California-Riverside. He did his PHD in romantic poetry from University of California. He has taught at Sarah Lawrence, and Lehman College, City University of New York, where he is a Professor. “He is also Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute in Florida, and a faculty member at the State University of New York-Stony brook.”(Poetry Foundation, 1, p. 1). He is symboling his love with his fiancée not as lust or loud but as simple as miniature as orange tree. His equation with her is as pure as white as color and hot as evening shower and the busy highways of Florida. No bitterness but the little twinge of love. His Dream to make a new but simple, small and cool house with his fiancée is symbolized as wren making a nest on brow branch hanging over water. Whereas the darkness of night is symbol of the ending of his relationship with wife like as dark brown of suit. He says his heart is on tripod always waiting for arrow in the poem which connects to his hobbies of always exploring new things, places and opening his heart for new person in his life. He is portraying a person always hopeful, lovable and easy to understand.

Billy Collins, 76, was the U.S. Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003 and is the author of 11 collections of poetry. This poem is journey of being in love with two different women in his different phage of his life. He has very soft tone for love of his life. He is experimental and open mind. We can hear his love life journey comparing to nature, animals, and things like broth bowl. His mother have had a great sense of humor, but it was quite submerged, and therefore, in a way, deeper than his father’s. “His mother was heartfelt, a moral guide, emotionally expansive, giving. His father would be the head and his mother would be the heart, if we want to simplify it in that way. Which brings huge impact in his poems like positive vibes and optimistic attitude from his father and mother seems the root of love and romantics in his poem.” (Cunningham, 2014, p. 1) . The environment is clean with lake shore, it is made more worthy by the elements like smoke from naval battle representing feeling warmth of his fiancée. He is portraying a person who is always hopeful with love and easy to understand. He has very soft tone for love of his life. He is experimental and open mind. We can hear his love life journey comparing to nature, animals, and things like broth bowl. The atmosphere seems romantic and full of positive vibes.

Billy Collins. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Cunningham, L. (2014, October 03). Billy Collins on life, death and poetry. Retrieved from
Journal, W. S. (2017, October 17). Poet Billy Collins Describes His Childhood and Shares Two Unpublished Poems. Retrieved from
Weber, B. (1999, December 19). On Literary Bridge, Poet Hits a Roadblock. Retrieved from

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Billy Collins the U.S. poet Laurate. (2020, Jan 24). Retrieved from

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