Year Published: 2013
I was skeptical about reading this collection, mostly because my college Intermediate Poetry class that I had taken in previous years made me think that poets like Billy Collins were, can I say, “simpletons” among others like Jack Kerouac and Charles Bukowski.
In the beginning, my theory proved true. I didn’t think many of the ideas in these poems were profound or really made me think about anything meaningful. However, as time went on, I began to find something that Billy Collins had that other poets do not. He had a talent in being profoundly simple.
He was poet laureate twice, I believe, and for that reason my professor called him “the people’s poet” because his poetry was more understandable than others. In a nutshell, everyone could understand and relate to his poetry. At first I thought this was a bad thing, but after reading Aimless Love, I have come to disagree.
Billy Collins is successful because he can relate and reach out to almost everyone that reads him, and that is a HUGE feat to overcome as a poet/writer/author/etc. Not only that, but I found that he has a great talent for moving from image to image flawlessly; if a poem begins at a table in a house and ends at the boardwalk on a beach, Collins has no problem taking the reader on that small journey.
Again, there were quite a few poems that did not strike me in any way and disappointed me. However, the few that did strike me, stuck with me. So in the end, I would say that Aimless Love is a fairly good compilation of new and old poems by Collins. It is something I would recommend to the frequent poetry-reader.