We’ve featured two poems from two of my favourite American poets in our poetry cards. I was extremely pleased when both Ted Kooser and Billy allowed me to offer their poems to artists in Bellamys at Five exhibition.
When I told Billy I would let him know if his poem was selected he replied, ok, no news will be bad news then, but not tragic, all my best. So I was especially pleased when Janie Porter chose Billy’s work. I didn’t tell her who the poet was but I did receive an email from her later saying, I’ve only recently found out that it’s Billy Collins and it is a huge privilege to be illustrating one of his poems.
Billy Collins is an American poet, appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003 and selected as the New York State Poet for 2004-2006. Billy has described himself as “reader conscious”: “I have one reader in mind, someone who is in the room with me, and who I’m talking to, and I want to make sure I don’t talk too fast, or too glibly. Usually I try to create a hospitable tone at the beginning of a poem. Stepping from the title to the first lines is like stepping into a canoe. A lot of things can go wrong.”