28. American Life in Poetry: Column 510


Billy Collins, who lives in New York, is one of our country’s most admired poets, and this snapshot of a winter day is reminiscent of those great Chinese poems that on the virtue of their clarity and precision have survived for a couple of thousand years. His most recent book of poetry is Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems, (Random House, 2013).


A little heat in the iron radiator,
the dog breathing at the foot of the bed,

and the windows shut tight,
encrusted with hexagons of frost.

I can barely hear the geese
complaining in the vast sky,

flying over the living and the dead,
schools and prisons, and the whitened fields.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2014 by Billy Collins, “Winter,” (Poetry East, No. 82, 2014). Poem reprinted by permission of Billy Collins and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2015 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

One Comment on “28. American Life in Poetry: Column 510

  1. Fragte mich gerade, ob BC in New York lebt. Das Netz sagt Folgendes:
    Billy Collins lives in Somers, New York.
    Billy Collins lives in Florida.
    Billy Collins lives in my brain!
    Billy Collins lives in a land of fairies and rainbows and fluffy bunnies.
    Billy Collins lives in a prison of nostalgic thoughts.
    I think Billy Collins lives in my town, although I have yet to track him down. I don’t generally like poetry (I’m a philistine!) but I love his.

    Gefällt mir

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