Review: The Rain in Portugal

Abbie-1

The Rain in Portugal: Poems

by Billy Collins

Copyright 2016.

 

In the author’s usual humorous style, poems in this collection reflect on jazz, nature, writing poetry, and other subjects. In “Lucky Cat,” Collins suggests betting with other humans on the actions of felines. In “Only Child,” he longs for a sister to help care for his aging parents. In “The Bard in Flight,” he imagines what Shakespeare would do on an airplane. The collection’s title comes from the poem “On Rhyme,” in which he reflects on such common sayings as “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.”

Billy Collins is one of my favorite poets. I heard about his latest collection when he appeared live yesterday on A Prairie Home Companion. Of course he read a few of his poems, and I was hooked. Needless to say, I downloaded the book and spent last night reading the poems aloud to myself.

According to an author’s note at the beginning, the electronic version of this book is designed so that formatting isn’t affected when the font size of the type is changed. Words at the ends of lines that are moved down when text is enlarged are indented to indicate they’re part of the same line. This didn’t make any difference to me, since I read the book in Braille, but I’m glad those with low vision who read with their eyes can enjoy the poems the way they were written. These poems are meant to be recited, preferably by Billy Collins, but I enjoyed reading them aloud and hope you will too.

***

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

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Author: abbiejohnsontaylor

I'm the author of two novels,, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in various journals and anthologies. I'm visually impaired and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my totally blind late husband who was paralyzed by two strokes. Please visit my website at http://www.abbiejohnsontaylor.com.

2 thoughts on “Review: The Rain in Portugal”

  1. Abbie–Please excuse my great delay in reading this blog post and responding to it. At the time of your posting this interesting review of Billy Collins’ latest collection of poetry, I had a flood of e-mail exchanges with my editors of my book which was released a couple of weeks later. Fortunately, my own blog post about Billy Collins’ being interviewed on The Kathleen Dunn Show of Wisconsin Public Radio brought me back to your post of November 13, 2016. I had saved your post via e-mail for later reading and did so on this February 9, 2017. Thanks so much for commenting on my WORDWALK blog about your review and providing the link to your blog post of the review so that my readers of WORDWALK can also read this review.

    In his interview on Wisconsin Public Radio, Billy Collins did speak of his being an only child and his imagining the situation which led to the poem about the Bard that you mentioned in your review.

    Thanks again–Alice

    http://alice13wordwalk.wordpress.com

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