Poetry: New and Recommended, Part II


 Here are eleven (our favorite number again) more new and noteworthy poetry titles (plus one audio, for an even dozen) featured in our International Poetry and Literature collections. This is a companion list to last year’s recommended poetry post.



In addition, in anticipation of the upcoming Billy Collins poetry reading in Pittsburgh at the Drue Heinz Lecture Series, the Main Library’s poetry discussion group, 3 Poems By, will be taking a look at the work of the former Poet Laureate on Tuesday, February 12th. The discussion is open to all; details may be found at the 3 Poems By website. Mr. Collins has also just released a much-praised new collection, Ballistics, which you can snap up for the right price (free) at the library anytime.

In preparation for that meeting, I’ve been talking to folks about Collins and reading lots of his poems. A colleague of mine recommended some of his favorite Billy Collins poems to me. Here’s one, short and sweet, with Collins’s signature humor, laced with a mitigating thread of melancholy:


No Time

In a rush this weekday morning,
I tap the horn as I speed past the cemetery
where my parents are buried
side by side beneath a slab of smooth granite.

Then, all day, I think of him rising up
to give me that look
of knowing disapproval
while my mother calmly tells him to lie back down.

Billy Collins


Yes, indeed.



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2 responses to “Poetry: New and Recommended, Part II

  1. Kelley

    Another wonderful poetry post, Don! I ordered the Sharon Olds and Mary Oliver you mentioned. Didn’t know of those two titles and love the wonderful Collins’ poem. Do you know the poem ‘White Apples’ by Donald Hall? The simplicity of that Collins’ poem reminded me of it. One of my favorites: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/white-apples/

  2. Don


    Thanks. The second half of the Olds book is particularly strong, about the death of her Mom.

    Loved the Donald Hall, I hadn’t read it and, yes, it seems to becoming from the same psychic space.

    Here’s the Hall poem, for those who didn’t click through:

    White Apples

    when my father had been dead a week
    I woke
    with his voice in my ear
    I sat up in bed

    and held my breath
    and stared at the pale closed door

    white apples and the taste of stone

    if he called again
    I would put on my coat and galoshes

    – Donald Hall



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