Random House Trade Paperbacks Musical Tables Random House Trade Paperbacks Musical Tables
Random House Trade Paperbacks Musical Tables Random House Trade Paperbacks Musical Tables

Musical Tables

By Billy Collins


Publication Date: November 14, 2023

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A bestselling collection of more than 125 small poems, each a thought or observation compressed to its emotional essence, by the former United States Poet Laureate—with many new poems for the paperback.

"The poetry of Billy Collins has a kindness that glitters with hard truth, and in Musical Tables he gives us a book of short, witty, often poignant snapshots of our sad and funny world.” —Paul Simon

"Whenever I open a book of poems, I tend to flip through looking for the small ones. Just as I might have trust in an abstract expressionist painter if I knew he or she could draw a credible chicken, I trust poets who can go short." --Billy Collins

You can spot a Billy Collins poem at once—the amiable voice, the light touch, the sudden turn at the end. "He puts the 'fun' back in profundity," says Alice Fulton. In his own words, his poems tend to "start in Kansas and end in Oz."

Now Collins has found a new form for his unique poetic style: the small poem. Here Collins writes about his trademark themes of nature, animals, poetry, mortality, absurdity, and love—all in a handful of lines. Inspired by the small poetry of writers as diverse as William Carlos Williams, W.S. Merwin, Kay Ryan, and Charles Simic, and written with Collins's recognizable wit and wisdom, the more than 125 poems of Musical Tables show one of our greatest poets channeling his unique voice into a new phase of his exceptional career.

3:00 AM

Only my hand

is asleep,

but it’s a start.

About the Author

Billy Collins is the former Poet Laureate of the United States. He is the author of twelve collections of poetry, including the bestsellers Aimless Love, The Trouble with Poetry, and Sailing Alone Around the Room. He is also the editor of Poetry 180, 180 More, and Bright Wings. A former Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York, Collins served as New York State Poet from 2004 to 2006. In 2016 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Florida with his wife, Suzannah.

Author Residence: Winter Park, Florida

Author Hometown: New York, NY

Format: Trade Paperback

Length: 192 pages

Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks

Publication Date: November 14, 2023

ISBN: 9780399589805

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