[Poetry Friday] Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins (Part 2 of 3)

poetry friday

Fats here.

Last week, I shared “Reader” and “Aimless Love” by Billy Collins. Both appeared in his poetry collection, Aimless Love. If you missed the video I shared of Billy Collins reading Aimless Love, feel free to check out Part 1 of this post!

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Today, I am sharing crafty wordplay from three poems by Billy Collins, all of which appeared on Aimless Love. I hope these inspire you to create your own witty poems!

Poetry Friday is hosted this week by Brenda at Friendly Fairy Tales!

Looking for a Friend in a Crowd of
Arriving Passengers: A Sonnet

Not John Whalen.
Not John Whalen.
Not John Whalen.
Not John Whalen.
Not John Whalen.
Not John Whalen.
Not John Whalen.
Not John Whalen.
Not John Whalen.
Not John Whalen.
Not John Whalen.
Not John Whalen.
Not John Whalen.
John Whalen.

Villanelle

The first line will not go away
though the middle ones will disappear,
and the third, like the first, is bound to get more play.
Examples of this type are written every day,
and whether uplifting or drear,
that first line will just not go away.
It seems some lines have the right of way.
It’s their job to reappear,
for example, the third, designed to get more play.
Whether you squawk like an African Grey
or sing sweetly to the inner ear,
the line you wrote first will not just go away.
You may compose all night and day
under a bare lightbulb or a crystal chandelier,
but line number three must get more play.
How can a poet hope to go wildly astray
or sing out like a romantic gondolier
when the first line will not go away
and the third always has the final say?

A Word About Transitions

Moreover is not a good way to begin a poem
though many start somewhere in the middle.
Secondly should not be placed
at the opening of your second stanza.
Furthermore should be regarded
as a word to avoid,
Aforementioned is rarely found
in poems at all and for good reason.
Most steer clear of notwithstanding
and the same goes for
nevertheless, however,
as a consequence, in any event,
subsequently,
and as we have seen in the previous chapters.
Finally‘s appearance at the top
of the final stanza is not going to help.
All of which suggests (another no-no)
that poems don’t need to tell us where we are
or what is soon to come.
For example, the white bowl of lemons
on a table by a window
is fine all by itself
and, in conclusion, so are
seven elephants standing in the rain.

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  1. [Poetry Friday] Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems by Billy Collins (Part 3 of 3) – Gathering Books

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