Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Billy Collins

Miss Zoe and Her "Be Quiet, I'm Listening to Poetry" Face.

Last night we had the privilege of going to hear a reading by the man who is apparently Our Nation's most famous poet, Billy Collins.

Every year, nearby Gannon University in downtown Erie (I say nearby not in a neighboring town kind of way but in a 2 miles away kind of way) brings in a rock star poet.  Last year, it was Li Young Li.  In recent years, we've also seen Donald Hall at this event, and the Chick saw Galway Kinnell.

The room was packed for Billy Collins!!  A packed room for a poetry!!!  YAY!!!

And, his reading was amazing:  poignant, funny (VERY funny!), accessible.  He's the kind of poet you can like or love even if you "don't get poetry."  His poetry is gettable.  His dry and almost offhanded sense of humor reminded me of Bob Newhart (who the Chick adores and I know, sadly, mainly from the movie Elf).

Instead of going on and on, I'm going to post a couple of videos from the reading.

The first is a poem written from the perspective of a dog called:  A Dog on His Master

Billy Collins: A Dog on His Master from marcy hall on Vimeo.

The second was one of the funniest poems he read, entitled:  Oh, My God

Billy Collins: Oh, My God from marcy hall on Vimeo.

If you liked these readings, I would encourage you to seek out more!  Even go on YouTube and search Billy Collins.  There are some Great Poems there, and hearing him read his own work is part of the fun!


Anonymous said...



Yay for you!

And poetry!!

I'm discovering some new poets this month and it's wonderful :)

Kavindra said...

oh my god I love Billy Collins! You were like, so lucky to see him!
Thank you for showing part of it. (Only Marcy Hall would compare Billy Collins to Bob Newhart, but, omg, I think you're right!)

and going thru the posts I've missed recently ...
OMG! You're going to Italy!


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Thanks for these videos -- they are, like, OMG, fantastic! My favourite Billy Collins poem is called "Another Reason Why I Don't Keep a Gun in the House." Now I'm heading over to YouTube to find some more of his performance pieces!

Rebecca said...

Wow, you inspired me to dig out my copy of Collin's "Picnic, Lightning". I forgot how good he is. I remember he did an interview on NPR's Fresh Air years ago. Hearing him read his poetry in that interview inspired me to buy that book. This was the perfect post for my rainy/snowy day today.

Emma said...

He reminds me of Bob Newhart, too. Great stuff! :)