The main customer reviews on this page are truly remarkable. It is a testament to the accessibility and appeal of Billy Collins that so many "non-professional" readers understand, appreciate and write movingly and well about Collins's work. Since this particular volumne is more or less a sampler drawn from his last four volumes , with some new works of varying appeal at the end, it is a perfectly fine place to start if you are new to Collins, and you will undoubtedly find many pleasures, large and small.
Collins's work is described as "popular", "plain", "appealing" and "accessible", (which is all true), and those descriptions can be interpreted as praise or dismissal, depending upon the describer's own preferences and prejudices. Since poetry isn't my job and tenure wars and academic posturing are a thing of the past, sometimes I just want to read and enjoy a poem. There is playfulness, irony, simplicity, honesty, sincerity and humor here, as well as some show boating and the occasional hard edge. There is great technical finesse. There is energy and a sense of welcoming. If you're new to Collins, or new to poetry, or just in need of respite and, perhaps, comfort, these are very nice pieces over which to pause and reflect.
Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.