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Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems

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Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems Cover

ISBN13: 9780375755194
ISBN10: 0375755195
Condition: Standard
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Review-A-Day

"The most obvious thing to say about Collins's poetry is that it is funny, in an accessible and immediately familiar way. But his true poetic gift is something more than a sense of humor; it is a genuine, if often debased, wit. Wit is the yoking together of heterogeneous things, and when it is properly used it has an unsettling power. It forces hostile ideas and associations into a disturbing intimacy: Donne's 'bracelet of bright hair around the bone,' Eliot's 'fear in a handful of dust.' And while Collins's angle of vision is never genuinely strange, it is skewed just enough to be surprising." Adam Kirsch, The New Republic (read the entire New Republic review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"High, most encouraging tidings" — that is how Billy Collins, the widely read and widely acclaimed poet, describes the music in his poem about the gospel singing group The Sensational Nightingales. The same phrase applies, just as joyfully, to the arrival of Sailing Alone Around the Room, a landmark collection of new and selected poems by this Guggenheim Fellow, NPR contributor, New York Public Library "Literary Lion," and incomparably popular performer of his own good works.

From four earlier collections, which have secured for him a national reputation, Collins offers the lyric equivalent of an album of Greatest Hits. In "Forgetful-ness," memories of the contents of a novel "retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain, to a little fishing village where there are no phones." In "Osso Buco," a poem about gustatory pleasure, the "lion of content-ment" places a warm heavy paw on the poet's chest. In "Marginalia," he catalogs the scrawled comments of books' previous readers: " 'Absolutely,' they shout to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin. 'Yes.' 'Bull's-eye.' 'My man!' " And he also serves us a generous portion of new poems, including "Man Listening to Disc," a jazz trip with headphones, and "The Iron Bridge," a wildly speculative, moving elegy.

Whether old or new, these poems will catch their readers by exhilarating surprise. They may begin with irony and end in lyric transcendence. They may open with humor and close with grief. They may, and often do, begin with the everyday and end with infinity. Wise, funny, sad, stealthy, and always perfectly clear, these poems will not be departing for that little fishing village with no phones for a long, long time. Billy Collins, possessed of a unique lyric voice, is one of American poetry's most sensational nightingales.

Review:

"Billy Collins writes lovely poems — lovely in a way almost nobody's since Roethke's are. Limpid, gently and consistently startling, more serious than they seem, they describe all the worlds that are and were and some others besides." John Updike

Review:

"Luring his readers into the poem with humor, Mr. Collins leads them unwittingly into deeper, more serious places, a kind of journey from the familiar or quirky to unexpected territory, sometimes tender, often profound." The New York Times

Review:

"A brilliant comic sally...a wonderful, sly, and moving collection." San Francisco Chronicle

Synopsis:

Sailing Alone Around the Room, by America's Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, contains both new poems and a generous gathering from his earlier collections The Apple That Astonished Paris, Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, and Picnic, Lightning. These poems show Collins at his best, performing the kinds of distinctive poetic maneuvers that have delighted and fascinated so many readers. They may begin in curiosity and end in grief; they may start with irony and end with lyric transformation; they may, and often do, begin with the everyday and end in the infinite. Possessed of a unique voice that is at once plain and melodic, Billy Collins has managed to enrich American poetry while greatly widening the circle of its audience.

Synopsis:

Sailing Alone Around the Room, by Americas Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, contains both new poems and a generous gathering from his earlier collections The Apple That Astonished Paris, Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, and Picnic, Lightning. These poems show Collins at his best, performing the kinds of distinctive poetic maneuvers that have delighted and fascinated so many readers. They may begin in curiosity and end in grief; they may start with irony and end with lyric transformation; they may, and often do, begin with the everyday and end in the infinite. Possessed of a unique voice that is at once plain and melodic, Billy Collins has managed to enrich American poetry while greatly widening the circle of its audience.

About the Author

Billy Collins, named U.S. Poet Laureate in June 2001 and reappointed to the post in 2002, has published seven collections of poetry, including The Apple That Astonished Paris; Nine Horses; Picnic, Lightning; The Art of Drowning; and Sailing Alone Around the Room. A professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York, he lives in Somers, New York.

Table of Contents

  1. section 1.From The apple that astonished Paris (1988) --Another reason why I don't keep a gun in the house
  2. Walking across the Atlantic
  3. Plight of the troubadour
  4. The lesson
  5. Winter syntax
  6. Advice to writers
  7. The rival poet
  8. Insomnia
  9. Earthling
  10. Books
  11. Bar time
  12. My number
  13. Introduction to poetry
  14. The Brooklyn Museum of Art
  15. Schoolsville
  16. section 2.From Questions about angels (1991) --American sonnet
  17. Questions about angels
  18. A history of weather
  19. The death of allegory
  20. Forgetfulness
  21. Candle hat
  22. Student of clouds
  23. The dead
  24. The man in the moon
  25. The wires of the night
  26. Vade mecum
  27. Not touching
  28. The history teacher
  29. First reader
  30. Purity
  31. Nostalgia
  32. section 3.From The art of drowning (1995) --Consolation
  33. Osso Buco
  34. Directions
  35. Sunday morning with the sensational nightingales
  36. The best cigarette
  37. Days
  38. Tuesday, June 4, 1991
  39. Canada
  40. On turning ten
  41. Workshop
  42. My heart
  43. Budapest
  44. Dancing toward Bethlehem
  45. Monday morning
  46. Center
  47. Design
  48. Pinup
  49. Piano lessons
  50. The blues
  51. Man in space
  52. Nightclub
  53. Some final words
  54. section 4.From Picnic, lightning (1998) --Fishing on the Susquehanna in July
  55. To a stranger born in some distant country hundreds of years from now
  56. I chop some parsley while listening to Art Blakey's version of "Three blind mice" --Afternoon with Irish cows
  57. Marginalia
  58. Some days
  59. Picnic, lightning
  60. Morning
  61. Bonsai
  62. Shoveling snow with Buddha
  63. Snow
  64. Japan
  65. Victoria's secret
  66. Lines composed over three thousand miles from Tintern Abbey
  67. Paradelle for Susan
  68. Lines lost among trees
  69. Taking off Emily Dickinson's clothes
  70. The night house
  71. Splitting wood
  72. The death of the hat
  73. Passengers
  74. Where I live
  75. Aristotle
  76. section 5.New poems
  77. Dharma
  78. Reading an anthology of Chinese poems of the Sung Dynasty, I pause to admire the length and clarity of their titles
  79. Snow day
  80. Insomnia
  81. Madmen
  82. Sonnet
  83. Idiomatic
  84. The waitress
  85. The butterfly effect
  86. Serenade
  87. The three wishes
  88. Pavilion
  89. The movies
  90. Jealousy
  91. Tomes
  92. Man listening to disc
  93. Scotland
  94. November
  95. The iron bridge
  96. The flight of the reader.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

sarahpro22, July 7, 2006 (view all comments by sarahpro22)
Being a huge fan of poetry, especially poems in which the topic is simple yet complex at the same time, Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems is an incredible book of poetry. Billy Collins' way of writing and portraying the simple is so vivid and different that each poem takes the reader to a new level of understanding life, love, and emotions.

Within this book of poetry are two poems that I could (and do) read over and over again, and each time I do, I find a deeper and more meaningful message that Collins may or may not be suggesting. It's the way that I, the reader, relay the poem's meaning to myself.

The two poems are "Schoolsville" and "Splitting Wood".

I highly recommend this book to all aspiring writers, teachers and poetry enthusiasts.

Billy Collins is a poetry genius.

- Sarah
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(372 of 720 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375755194
Author:
Collins, Billy
Publisher:
Random House Trade
Location:
New York
Subject:
American
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Poetry, modern
Subject:
General Poetry
Subject:
Single Author / American
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
no. 116
Publication Date:
September 17, 2002
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
8.54x5.30x.42 in. .31 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.93 In Stock
Product details 192 pages Random House Trade - English 9780375755194 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "The most obvious thing to say about Collins's poetry is that it is funny, in an accessible and immediately familiar way. But his true poetic gift is something more than a sense of humor; it is a genuine, if often debased, wit. Wit is the yoking together of heterogeneous things, and when it is properly used it has an unsettling power. It forces hostile ideas and associations into a disturbing intimacy: Donne's 'bracelet of bright hair around the bone,' Eliot's 'fear in a handful of dust.' And while Collins's angle of vision is never genuinely strange, it is skewed just enough to be surprising." (read the entire New Republic review)
"Review" by , "Billy Collins writes lovely poems — lovely in a way almost nobody's since Roethke's are. Limpid, gently and consistently startling, more serious than they seem, they describe all the worlds that are and were and some others besides."
"Review" by , "Luring his readers into the poem with humor, Mr. Collins leads them unwittingly into deeper, more serious places, a kind of journey from the familiar or quirky to unexpected territory, sometimes tender, often profound."
"Review" by , "A brilliant comic sally...a wonderful, sly, and moving collection."
"Synopsis" by , Sailing Alone Around the Room, by America's Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, contains both new poems and a generous gathering from his earlier collections The Apple That Astonished Paris, Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, and Picnic, Lightning. These poems show Collins at his best, performing the kinds of distinctive poetic maneuvers that have delighted and fascinated so many readers. They may begin in curiosity and end in grief; they may start with irony and end with lyric transformation; they may, and often do, begin with the everyday and end in the infinite. Possessed of a unique voice that is at once plain and melodic, Billy Collins has managed to enrich American poetry while greatly widening the circle of its audience.
"Synopsis" by , Sailing Alone Around the Room, by Americas Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, contains both new poems and a generous gathering from his earlier collections The Apple That Astonished Paris, Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, and Picnic, Lightning. These poems show Collins at his best, performing the kinds of distinctive poetic maneuvers that have delighted and fascinated so many readers. They may begin in curiosity and end in grief; they may start with irony and end with lyric transformation; they may, and often do, begin with the everyday and end in the infinite. Possessed of a unique voice that is at once plain and melodic, Billy Collins has managed to enrich American poetry while greatly widening the circle of its audience.
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