Last night, my friend Elyse and I ventured downtown to hear Billy Collins, my favorite poet, read at the Pantages Theatre.
He read for about an hour, a lot of new stuff from Aimless Love, his new book (I read all the new poems in one sitting– I can do that for no other poet than Billy Collins) but also some old favorites like “The Revenant” and “The Lanyard.”
If you’re not familiar with Billy Collins, please come out from under the dark rock you’re living beneath (I kid, I kid!). No, but really, in case you didn’t know, Billy Collins is a brilliant and hilarious poet. Hearing him read live is such a treat for his deadpan delivery. Elyse remarked, “It’s like attending a comedy event … but a really highbrow one.”
We laughed and laughed and laughed– and then made those soft sighs and murmurs that follow poignant poems.
Afterward, he had a very short Q&A session (which he called a conversation) wherein he said (and I’m paraphrasing as best I can here), “If you read great work and feel appreciative, you’re not a writer. Writers read and feel a burning jealousy.”
YES! I was so just discussing this on my blog.
It was a delightful evening with delightful company. Elyse and I were some of the youngest people in the audience, and I felt bad for the rest of my generation that was spending their Friday without Billy.