✰ [BOOKS] ✸ Ballistics By Billy Collins ✽ – Horse-zine.co.uk


Ballistics quotes Ballistics, litcharts Ballistics, symbolism Ballistics, summary shmoop Ballistics, Ballistics 122e93d6 A Billy Collins Poem Is Instantly Recognizable Using Simple, Understandable Language, Notes USA Today, The Two Term US Poet Laureate Captures Ordinary Life Its Pleasure, Its Discontents, Its Moments Of Sadness And Of Joy His Everyman Approach To Writing Resonates With Readers Everywhere And Generates Fans Who Would Otherwise Never Give A Poem A Second Glance Now, In This Stunning New Collection, Collins Touches On A Greater Array Of Subjects Love, Death, Solitude, Youth, And Aging Delving Deeper Than Ever Before Ballistics Comes At The Reader Full Force With Moving And Playful Takes On Life Drawing Inspiration From The World Around Him And From Such Poetic Forebears As Robert Frost, Paul Valery, And Eleventh Century Poet Liu Yung, Collins Drolly Captures The Essence Of An Ordinary Afternoon All I Do These Drawn Out Daysis Sit In My Kitchen At Pheasant Ridgewhere There Are No Pheasants To Be Seenand, Last Time I Looked, No Ridge Collins Reflects On His Solitude If I Lived Across The Street From Myselfand I Was Sitting In The Darkon The Edge Of The Bedat Five O Clock In The Morning, I Might Be Wondering What The Lightwas Doing On In My Study At This Hour And He Meditates On The Effects Of Love It Turns Everything Into A Symbollike A Storm That Breaks Loosein The Final Chapter Of A Long Novel And It May Add Sparkle To A Morning, Or Deepen A Night When The Bed Is Ringed With Fire As Collins Strives To Find Truth In The Smallest Detail, Readers Are Given A Fascinating, Intimate Glimpse Into The Heart And Soul Of A Brilliantly Thoughtful Man And Exemplary Poet


10 thoughts on “Ballistics

  1. says:

    Collins once told an interviewer, I think what really happened psychologically is that I started off writing in the voice of my father wise cracking and only later did I find a way to admit my mother generous, empathetic And I didn t even need long sessions on the couch to figure that out The humor is what s always drawn me to him, but he s deceptively serious at times, too Interviews also show that he s completely dedicated to his craft Poet laureates are bound to be Now that I ve read two of his books thereby allowing me to feign expertise , I ll say that this recent one from 2008 has a slightly lonelier, edgier tone maybe a Bronx cheer to his advancing years The playfulness, the self deprecation, and the unhurried contemplation are all still in evidence, though, as some of my favorites will show Hippos on Holidayis not really the title of a movie but if it was I would be sure to see it I love their short legs and big heads, the whole hippo look Hundreds of them would frolic in the mud of a wide, slow moving river, and I would eat my popcorn in the dark of a neighborhood theater When they opened their enormous mouths lined with big stubby teeth I would drink my enormous Coke I would be both in my seat and in the water playing with the hippos, which is the way it is with a truly great movie Only a mean spirited reviewer would ask on holiday from what Billy told George Plimpton in a Paris Review interview that his mom used to read him Black Beauty and The Yearling sentimental animal fiction And his dad brought him all the Lassie books It must have made an impression A Dog on His MasterAs young as I look,I am growing older faster than he,seven to oneis the ratio they tend to say.Whatever the number,I will pass him one dayand take the leadthe way I do on our walks in the woods.And if this ever managesto cross his mind,it would be the sweetestshadow I have ever cast on snow or grass.And here he is with a bit of play AdageWhen it s late at night and branchesare banging against the windows,you might think that love is just a matterof leaping out of the frying pan of yourselfinto the fire of someone else,but it s a little complicated than that.It s like trading the two birdswho might be hiding in that bushfor the one you are not holding in your hand.A wise man once said that lovewas like forcing a horse to drinkbut then everyone stopped thinking of him as wise.Let us be clear about something.Love is not as simple as getting upon the wrong side of the bed wearing the emperor s clothes.No, it s like the way the penfeels after it has defeated the sword.It s a little like the penny saved or the nine dropped stitches.You look at me through the halo of the last candleand tell me love is an ill windthat has no turning, a road that blows no good,but I am here to remind you,as our shadows tremble on the walls,that love is the early bird who is better late than never.Not all the commentary on older age was negative This one, I thought, was nuanced with a accepting view Old Man Eating Alone in a Chinese RestaurantI am glad I resisted the temptation, if it was a temptation when I was young,to write a poem about an old maneating alone at a corner table in a Chinese restaurant.I would have gotten it all wrongthinking the poor bastard, not a friend in the worldand with only a book for a companion.He ll probably pay the bill out of a change purse.So glad I waited all these decadesto record how hot and sour the hot and soursoup is here at Chang s this afternoonand how cold the Chinese beer in a frosted glass.And my book Jos Saramago s Blindnessas it turns out is so absorbing that I look upfrom its escalating horrors onlywhen I am stunned by one of his gleaming sentences.And I should mention the lightthat falls through the big windows this time of the dayitalicizing everything it touches the plates and teapots, the immaculate tablecloths,as well as the soft brown hair of the waitressin the white blouse and short black skirt,the one who is smiling now as she bears a cup of riceand shredded beef with garlic to my favorite table in the corner.But sometimes the edginess was clear, and even literal DivorceOnce, two spoons in bed,now tined forksacross a granite tableand the knives they have hired.One of his most common subjects was poetry itself Billy at his meta magnificent best The EffortWould anyone care to join mein flicking a few pebbles in the directionof teachers who are fond of asking the question What is the poet trying to say as if Thomas Hardy and Emily Dickinsonhad struggled but ultimately failed in their efforts inarticulate wretches that they were,biting their pens and staring out the window for a clue.Yes, it seems that Whitman, Amy Lowell and the rest could only try and failbut we in Mrs Parker s third period English classhere at Springfield High will succeedwith the help of these study questionsin saying what the poor poet could not,and we will get all this done beforethat orgy of egg salad and tuna fish known as lunch.Tonight, however, I am the one trying to say what it is this absence means,the two of us sleeping and waking under different roofs.The image of this vase of cut flowers,not from our garden, is no help.And the same goes for the single plate, the solitary lamp, and the weather that presses its face against these new windows the drizzle and the morning frost.So I will leave it up to Mrs Parker,who is tapping a piece of chalk against the blackboard,and her students a few with their hands up,others slouching with their caps on backwards to figure out what it is I am trying to sayabout this place where I find myselfand to do it before the noon bell ringsand that whirlwind of meatloaf is unleashed.Or this, the last one in the book EnvoyGo, little book,out of this house and into the world,carriage made of paper rolling toward townbearing a single passengerbeyond the reach of this jitter pen,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 a late as you like,don t bother to call or writeand talk to as many strangers as you can.With certain previews my wife will lean over and whisper, It s like we ve seen the whole movie now We both hate when they do that Shoot, now I can t remember where I was going with this I must be getting to that age where I forget things and But as Billy would advise, it s good to see the humor.


  2. says:

    3.5 stars I adore Billy Collins His cleverness will always be his strongest asset, along with his ability to write in a concise way that still manages to say so much However, I felt that this collection as a whole fell a bit flat There are a lot self centered and I don t mean that as solipsistic but literally focused on himself as the writer, human being, etc rather than outward looking poems in this collection he thrives, I believe, when he looks beyond.


  3. says:

    Oh,My God Not only in church and nightly by their bedsides do young girls pray these days Wherever they go, prayer is woven into their talk Like a bright thread of awe Even at the pedestrian mall outbursts of praise Spring unbidden from their glossy lips.OMG Billy Collins is so good.


  4. says:

    What can I say It s another volume of wonderful poetry from Billy Collins, a man who notices the tiniest detail and bothers to remark on it He makes the quiet and mundane seem magnificent and precious And you know what It damn well is My favorite was the title poem.I m someone who sees those altered book art projects and wonders which books are okay to ruin in the name of art Reader s Digest Condensed Books are the only ones that come to my mind, as in my opinion, books AND soup should NEVER be condensed I like that Collins has similar thoughts when he sees a book destroyed BallisticsWhen I came across the high speed photograph of a bullet that had just pierced a book the pages exploding with the velocity I forgot all about the marvels of photographyand began to wonder which book the photographer had selected for the shot.Many novels sprang to mindincluding those of Raymond Chandlerwhere an extra bullet would hardly be noticed.Nonfiction offered many choices a history of Scottish lighthouses, a biography of Joan of Arc and so forthOr it could be an anthology of medieval literature,the bullet having just beheaded Sir Gawain and scattered the band of assorted pilgrims.But later, as I was drifting off to sleep,I realized that the executed book was a recent collection of poems writtenby someone of whom I was not fondand that the bullet must have passed throughhis writing with little resistanceat twenty eight hundred feet per second,through the poems about his childhoodand the ones about the dreary state of the world,and then through the author s photograph.through the beard, the round glasses,and that special poet s hat he loves to wear.Snerk


  5. says:

    I enjoyed Collins book PICNIC, LIGHTNING, but this new one while having a few strong lines seems self indulgent than usual There s almost a whining quality to it that bothered me He s often compared to Frost, since he uses very accessible language and images, but Frost saw the bigger picture within and behind the world Collins knows the big picture the flow of time, life, death but he constantly filters it through a personal lens clouded with his own fear, sarcasm, lost loves, and approaching death In one poem, Quiet , he remembers visiting a monestary in Big Sur for one afternoon, and says Out of a lifetime of running my mouthand leaning on the horn of the ego,only a single afternoon of being truly quiet He goes on to say Yet since then nothing but the racket of self advertisement,the clamor of noisy restaurants,the classroom proclamations, the little king of the voice having its say,and today the pride of writing this down, which must be the reason my penhas turned its back on me to hide its face in its hands Collins needs to return to silence for awhile.


  6. says:

    I had no idea I would love this as much as I did, when I picked it up from my university s library I just wanted to read some poetry, something that I haven t seen before, and definitely not classics, because I usually don t read poetry in book format, I read the online or e printed versions But my God irony , is Collins an amazing poet I can t even describe his style, except maybe by using the very allusive term of modern That s true of his writing, but probably not of his themes, which are all universal to humanity, but which he manages to tackle in a completely innovative way Loved, loved, loved this, and I really want to read his other works now.


  7. says:

    I was actually fairly worried this go round with Collins at first The first three parts contained a handful of great pieces The Four Moon Planet , Quiet , New Year s Day , etc , and I feared I d have to give my favorite poet a 3 or 4 star Then, part four Holy goodness Collins lays it thick with his final thrust in Ballistics with the following diamonds Baby Listening The Fish The Great American Poem Divorce The Breather The Mortal Coil Envoy Old Man Eating Alone in a Chinese Restaurant Billy Collins has certainly still got it Take and read part four at least.


  8. says:

    Billy Collins does it again His most recent collection of poems hits it out of the ballpark Collins is witty and sardonic, he takes the mundane and transforms it into extraordinary After reading his poems, I often find myself wanting to examine the inner recesses of his brain so that I can see the world at the angle he does In my humble opinion, Billy Collins is one of the great poets of our time I confirmed this a few years back when Daniel and I had the absolute pleasure of hearing him read Collins is unassumingly hilarious, though he also has his moments of profundity A couple snippets This Little Piggy Went to Market is the usual thing to say when you begin pulling on the toes of a small child, and I have never had a problem with that I could easily picture the piggy with the basket and his trotters kicking up the dust on an imaginary road What always stopped me in my tracks was the middle toe this little piggy ate roast beef I mean I enjoy a roast beef sandwich with lettuce and tomato and a dollop of horseradish, but I cannot see a pig ordering that in a delicatessen Baby Listening According to the guest information directory, baby listening is a service offered by this seaside hotel Baby listening not a baby who happens to be listening, as I thought when I first checked in Leave the receiver off the hook, the directory advises, and your infant can be monitored by the staff, though the staff, the entry continues, cannot be held responsible for the well being of the baby in question Fair enough, someone to listen to the baby But the phrase did suggest a baby who is listening, lying there in the room next to mine listening to my pen scratching against the page Collins is wonderful I daresay even people who don t do cartwheels over poetry will like him.


  9. says:

    I don t remember Billy Collins showing a dark side But Ballistics does throw a shadow I d guess he s experienced a personal setback More than one poem here concerns death, one is entitled Separation, and it s followed by Despair and The Mortal Coil But I ve always thought his poetry a pleasure to read because of his wry perspectives and quirky humor That s here, too, and those poems are among my favorites In fact, the mood does brighten at the end of the book so that it ends sunnily amid the rumpled sheets of a new relationship A typical Collins twist is that of an old man eating alone in a Chinese restaurant revealed in the last stanza to be himself Another is concerned with the rhyme This Little Piggy Went to Market played on a child s toes A point the poem No Things seems to be making is that language is better than reality, that the poet s and our search is worth the effort I think the humorous poems demonstrate this best by encouraging readers to see the situations he writes are better than reality He pictures the poet banging away on the mystery with the raised jawbone of poetry I much prefer that Collins to the one revealed in the vicious, powerful Divorce Once, two spoons in bed now tined forks across a granite table and the knives they have hired.


  10. says:

    In Ballistics, the reader will happily find the Billy Collins of his or her previous acquaintance whimsical, thoughtful, and hauntingly eloquent As a collection, the poems of Ballistics flow together nicely, but then, there s always something so clearly Collins about his work that I imagine this effect could be achieved with any grouping While I love poetry, I admit that I m never quite sure how one should review a book of it I tend to be introduced to poets by others and only then do I purchase a book by a single poet, confident that I enjoy their voice and will eagerly listen to whatever it is he or she has to say Such is the case with Billy Collins, who is one of my favorite living poets I almost wish he was obscure so that such an observation could be deemed interesting, but Collins is well respected and rightfully so Since poetry always feels so personal, I find it hard to write up a true review, so I will simply say that I quite enjoyed this collection and here are three of my favorite poems from this work that will have to represent what I love about Billy Collins s poetry Envoy Go, little book,out of this house and into the world,carriage made of paper rolling toward townbearing a single passengerbeyond the reach of this jittery pen,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 Oh, My God Not only in churchand nightly by their bedsidesdo young girls pray these days.Wherever they go,prayer is woven into their talklike a bright thread of awe.Even at the pedestrian malloutbursts of praisespring unbidden from their glossy lips The Mortal Coil One minute you are playing the fool,strumming a tennis racquet as if it were a guitarfor the amusement of a few ladiesand the next minute you are lying on your deathbed,arms stiff under the covers,the counterpane tucked tight across your chest.Or so seemed the progress of lifeas I was flipping through the photographsin Proust The Later Years by George Painter.Here he is at a tennis party, larking for the camera,and 150 pages later, nothing but rictus on a pillow,and in between a confection dippedinto a cup of lime tea and brought to the mouth.Which is why, instead of waitingfor our date this coming weekend,I am now speeding to your house at 7 45 in the morningwhere I hope to catch you half dressed and I am wondering which halfas I change lanes without looking with the result that we will be liftedby the urgent pull of the fleshinto a state of ecstatic fusion, and you will be late for work.And as we lie therein the early, latticed light,I will suggest that you take George Painter sbiography of Proustto the office so you can show your bossthe pictures that caused you to arrive shortly before lunchand he will understand perfectly,for I imagine him to be a man of letters,maybe even a devoted Proustian,but at the very least a fellow creature,ensnared with the rest of us in the same mortal coil,or so it would appear from the wishfulvantage point of your warm and rumpled bed.


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