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Billy Collins on 'The Trouble with Poetry'

by Jacki Lyden
Nov 6, 2005 (All Things Considered)

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Poet Billy Collins admits he's a thief. Instead of nabbing jewelry and picking locks, he pilfers from other poets. At least that's what he claims in his new collection, The Trouble with Poetry: And Other Poems.

Collins says the central theme of poetry is death. He manages to ruminate on this in a manner both whimsical and poignant. That approach helps explain how, along with critical acclaim, Collins also has gained a broad popular fan base — a rare feat for an American poet.

The former poet laureate of the United States, Collins now holds that post for the state of New York.

Read two poems from Collins' latest collection:

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