Musical Tables

Billy Collins

16 November 2023
160 pages


"I’ve grown old–
now my own name
rings a bell."

In each of the short poems in Billy Collins’s Musical Tables, the former United States Poet Laureate tempers his characteristically jocular voice with what he calls the “thrill of mortality” – flashes of profundity amongst the mundane, startling reminders of the wonder of being alive.

Through the brevity of these poems, Collins’ knack for coaxing the poetry out of the everyday becomes ever more refined. Whether reflecting on mornings spent in the thicket of Los Angeles traffic, or turning over clichés on the tongue until old metaphors become new again, Musical Tables is Billy Collins at his most meditative: brief, and all the more brilliant for it.

'America’s favourite poet' – Wall Street Journal

'America's favourite poet'
‘Billy Collins’ medium is a rare amalgam of accessibility and intelligence. I’d follow this man’s mind anywhere. Expect to be surprised
Billy Collins 'puts the "fun" back in profundity'