Billy Collins

I wasn’t surprised to find out that the poet Billy Collins is a Jesuit alum (Holy Cross ’63).  There’s a distinctly Ignatian tone in this quote: “I feel now that my sense of the spiritual is directly connected to my sense of wonder, my ability to be amazed by the fact of my existence in all its vital impermanence and by the spectacular environment I wake up to every morning. I am guessing that this sense of wonder is what the creator is still feeling.”

Collins says that mortality is the underlying theme of Western poetry (“Only the perishable can be beautiful, which is why we are unmoved by artificial flowers.”)  He also thinks that poetry is becoming more popular and accessible.  These qualities, along with his humor, are on display in the poem “Forgetfulness,” read by Collins here.


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