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Aimless Love

A Selection of Poems

By

CD Audio published by Random House Audio (Random House Audio Publishing Group)

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About This Book
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“Billy Collins puts the ‘fun’ back in ‘profundity.’ ”—Alice Fulton


From the two-term Poet Laureate of the United States Billy Collins comes his first compilation of new and selected poems in twelve years. Aimless Love combines more than fifty new poems with selections from four previous books—Nine Horses, The Trouble with Poetry, Ballistics, and Horoscopes for the Dead. Collins’s unmistakable voice, which brings together plain speech with imaginative surprise, is clearly heard on every page, reminding us how he has managed to enrich the tapestry of contemporary poetry and greatly expand its audience. His work is featured in top literary magazines such as The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Atlantic, and he sells out reading venues all across the country. Appearing regularly in The Best American Poetry series, his poems appeal to readers and live audiences far and wide and have been translated into more than a dozen languages. By turns playful, ironic, and serious, Collins’s poetry captures the nuances of everyday life while leading the reader into zones of inspired wonder. In the poet’s own words, he hopes that his poems “begin in Kansas and end in Oz.” Touching on the themes of love, loss, joy, and poetry itself, these poems showcase the best work of this “poet of plenitude, irony, and Augustan grace” (The New Yorker).

Envoy
 
Go, little book,
out of this house and into the world,
 
carriage made of paper rolling toward town
bearing a single passenger
beyond the reach of this jittery pen
and far from the desk and the nosy gooseneck lamp.
 
It is time to decamp,
put on a jacket and venture outside,
time to be regarded by other eyes,
bound to be held in foreign hands.
 
So off you go, infants of the brain,
with a wave and some bits of fatherly advice:
 
stay out as late as you like,
don’t bother to call or write,
and talk to as many strangers as you can.

Praise for Aimless Love

“[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
 
“It’s smart to be a little suspicious of the popular. I make an exception for Collins. His work is poignant, straightforward, usually funny and imaginative, also nuanced and surprising. It bears repeated reading and reading aloud. . . . Whenever I sit down with his work, I remember a choice line from the song ‘For You’ by that other populist, Bruce Springsteen: ‘You could laugh and cry in a single sound.’ . . . There’s no shtick here, no selling out for the sake of accessibility. This is why Collins is popular. He’s wonderful.”The Plain Dealer

“Layered, subtly witty poems that anyone can understand and appreciate—even those who don’t normally like poetry.”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
Show less
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“Billy Collins puts the ‘fun’ back in ‘profundity.’ ”—Alice Fulton


From the two-term Poet Laureate of the United States Billy Collins comes his first compilation of new and selected poems in twelve years. Aimless Love combines more than fifty new poems with selections from four previous books—Nine Horses, The Trouble with Poetry, Ballistics, and Horoscopes for the Dead. Collins’s unmistakable voice, which brings together plain speech with imaginative surprise, is clearly heard on every page, reminding us how he has managed to enrich the tapestry of contemporary poetry and greatly expand its audience. His work is featured in top literary magazines such as The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Atlantic, and he sells out reading venues all across the country. Appearing regularly in The Best American Poetry series, his poems appeal to readers and live audiences far and wide and have been translated into more than a dozen languages. By turns playful, ironic, and serious, Collins’s poetry captures the nuances of everyday life while leading the reader into zones of inspired wonder. In the poet’s own words, he hopes that his poems “begin in Kansas and end in Oz.” Touching on the themes of love, loss, joy, and poetry itself, these poems showcase the best work of this “poet of plenitude, irony, and Augustan grace” (The New Yorker).

Envoy
 
Go, little book,
out of this house and into the world,
 
carriage made of paper rolling toward town
bearing a single passenger
beyond the reach of this jittery pen
and far from the desk and the nosy gooseneck lamp.
 
It is time to decamp,
put on a jacket and venture outside,
time to be regarded by other eyes,
bound to be held in foreign hands.
 
So off you go, infants of the brain,
with a wave and some bits of fatherly advice:
 
stay out as late as you like,
don’t bother to call or write,
and talk to as many strangers as you can.

Praise for Aimless Love

“[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
 
“It’s smart to be a little suspicious of the popular. I make an exception for Collins. His work is poignant, straightforward, usually funny and imaginative, also nuanced and surprising. It bears repeated reading and reading aloud. . . . Whenever I sit down with his work, I remember a choice line from the song ‘For You’ by that other populist, Bruce Springsteen: ‘You could laugh and cry in a single sound.’ . . . There’s no shtick here, no selling out for the sake of accessibility. This is why Collins is popular. He’s wonderful.”The Plain Dealer

“Layered, subtly witty poems that anyone can understand and appreciate—even those who don’t normally like poetry.”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
Product Details
CD Audio
Published: October 22, 2013
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
Imprint: Random House Audio
ISBN: 9780385366397
Other books byBilly Collins
  • Haiku in English

    Haiku in English
    The First Hundred Years
    Haiku in English is an anthology of more than 800 brilliantly chosen poems that were originally written in English by over 200 poets from around the world. Although haiku originated as a Japanese art form, it has found a welcome home in the English-speaking world. This collection tells the story for the first time of Anglophone haiku, charting its evolution over the last one hundred years and placing it within its historical and literary context. It features an engaging introduction by former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins and an insightful historical overview by leading haiku poet, editor, and publisher Jim Kacian. The selections range from the first fully realized haiku in English, Ezra Pound’s “In a Station of the Metro,” to plentiful examples by haiku virtuosos such as John Wills, Marlene Mountain, Nick Virgilio, and Raymond Roseliep, and to investigations into the genre by eminent poets like John Ashbery, Allen Ginsberg, and Seamus Heaney. The editors explore the genre’s changing forms and themes, highlighting its vitality and its breadth of poetic styles and content. Among the many poems on offer are organic form experiments by E. E. Cummings and Michael McClure, evocations of black culture by Richard Wright and Sonia Sanchez, and the seminal efforts of Jack Kerouac. The first anthology to map the full range of haiku in the English tradition, Haiku in English is the perfect collection of this spare and elegant genre.

    The Apple That Astonished Paris

    The Apple That Astonished Paris

    The Best American Poetry 2006

    The Best American Poetry 2006
    Series Editor David Lehman
    "So welcome, readers, to a plurality of poets, a cornucopia of tropes, and a range of interests." -- From Billy Collins's introduction The Best American Poetry series offers a distinguished poet's selection of poems published in the course of a year. The guest editor for 2006 is Billy Collins, one of our most beloved poets, who has chosen poems of wit, humor, imagination, and surprise, in an array of styles and forms. The result is a celebration of the pleasures of poetry -- from Laura Cronk's marvelous "Sestina for the Newly Married" to the elegant limericks of R. S. Gwynn and from Reb Livingston on butter to Mark Halliday's "Refusal to Notice Beautiful Women." In his charming and candid introduction Collins explains how he chose seventy-five poems from among the thousands he considered. With insightful comments from the poets illuminating their work, and series editor David Lehman's thought-provoking foreword, The Best American Poetry 2006 is a brilliant addition to a series that links the most noteworthy verse and prose poems of our time to a readership as discerning as it is devoted to the art of poetry.

    Horoscopes for the Dead

    Horoscopes for the Dead
    Poems
    WINNER—BEST POETRY—GOODREADS CHOICE AWARDS   NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NEWSWEEK/THE DAILY BEAST NATIONAL BESTSELLER   Billy Collins is widely acknowledged as a prominent player at the table of modern American poetry. And in this smart, lyrical, and mischievous collection of poetry, which covers the everlasting themes of love and loss, youth and aging, solitude and union, Collins’s verbal gifts are on full display.

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