Random House Musical Tables: Poems
Random House Musical Tables: Poems

Musical Tables: Poems

By Billy Collins


Publication Date: November 15, 2022

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A collection of more than 125 small poems, all of them new, each a thought or observation compressed to its emotional essence--from the former United States Poet Laureate and New York Times bestselling author of Aimless Love.

"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 immediately. The amiable voice, the light touch, the sudden turn at the end. "He puts the 'fun' back in profundity," says poet Alice Fulton. In his own words, his poems tend to "start in Kansas and end in Oz."


Now "America's favorite poet" (The Wall Street Journal) 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. Neither haiku nor limerick, the small poem pushes to an extreme poetry's famed power to condense emotional and conceptual meaning. 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 new 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: Hardcover

Length: 176 pages

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: November 15, 2022

ISBN: 9780399589782

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