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Billy Collins

(b. 1941– )

U.S. poet and professor

“I would rather see words out on their own, away
from their families and the warehouse of Roget,
wandering the world where they sometimes fall
in love with a completely different word.
Surely, you have seen pairs of them standing forever
next to each other on the same line inside a poem,
a small chapel where weddings like these,
between perfect strangers, can take place.”

—Billy Collins, excerpt from his poem “Thesaurus”

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medium: Poetry

“Usually I try to create a hospitable tone at the beginning of a poem. Stepping from the title to the first lines is like stepping into a canoe. A lot of things can go wrong.”

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source: “On Literary Bridge, Poet Hits a Roadblock,” by Bruce Weber, The New York Times, December 19, 1999.

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medium: newspaper article

via: The Writer's Almanac
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