What Amazon Says
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • From the former United States Poet Laureate and New York Times bestselling author of Aimless Love, a collection of more than 125 small poems, all of them new, and each a thought or observation compressed to its emotional essence
“Whenever I pick up a new book of poems, I flip through the pages looking for small ones. Just as I might have trust in an abstract painter more if I knew he or she could draw a credible chicken, I have faith in 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 “begin 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 poems of Musical Tables show one of our greatest poets channeling his unique voice into a new phase of his exceptional career.
Only my hand
but it’s a start.
My 4-Star Review
This collection intrigued me when I read about it in Reader’s Digest. But at first, I found these short poems disappointing. Reading them was like drifting into a deep sleep, only to wake up five minutes later.
I soon realized, though, that these poems are short slices of life, some of which ask questions.
Take, for example, “Dog,” in which the narrator asks why a particular canine is running in her sleep. In “The Mohawk Diner, 3 AM,” the narrator asks if a cake stand in a diner was installed while he and a companion, or perhaps a lover, were sitting silently at the counter. In “Last to Leave the Party,” the narrator describes how someone in a white dress impacted him.
Some poems, like “Code of the West” and “Twisting Time,” made me laugh. Others, like “Thelonious Morning,” caused me to shake my head. But as I continued reading these poems, it dawned on me that many of them made sense in their brevity. Although I prefer collections with short and long poems, this one is definitely a worthwhile read.
Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography
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New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me
Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.
Independently published with the help of DLD Books.
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Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.
After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.
Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.
Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?