Billy Collins, dubbed America’s favorite poet by The Wall Street Journal, is the author of 12 collections of poetry. His most recent work, "The Rain in Portugal," features nearly 50 new poems. His previous collections include, include "Aimless Love," "Horoscopes for the Dead," "Ballistics," "The Trouble with Poetry," "Nine Horses," "Sailing Alone Around the Room," "Questions About Angels," "The Art of Drowning" and "Picnic, Lightning." He is also the editor of "Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry," "180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day,"and "Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds."
A Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York, and senior distinguished fellow at the Winter Park Institute of Rollins College, he was poet laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003 and New York state poet from 2004 to 2006. In 2016 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Go, little book,
out of this house and into the world,
carriage made of paper rolling toward town
bearing a single passenger
beyond the reach of this jittery pen
and far from the desk and the nosy gooseneck lamp.
It is time to decamp,
put on a jacket and venture outside,
time to be regarded by other eyes,
bound to be held in foreign hands.
So off you go, infants of the brain,
with a wave and some bits of fatherly advice:
stay out as late as you like,
don't bother to call or write,
and talk to as many strangers as you can.
Billy Collins(Aimless Love 2013)