Former American poet laureate Billy Collins has a skill for writing about the small things that go on in his life, finding an effective means, more times than not, of tying the details of the banal and mundane into a more significant idea, lest those who assume poetry ought to be about “heavy things” feel left out of the conversation he starts. Collins is careful, though, not to get too profound and smartly lets the intellectually perplexing elements of his poetry recede and become texture in favor of something arresting, something cute being revealed, a sudden perception that wasn't there when the narrator started his discourse. It is a formula Collins uses well; the downside of it all is that it is clear that the good poet won't be digging deeper into the soil anytime soon.
How unusual to be living a life of continual self-expression,
jotting down little things,
noticing a leaf being carried down a stream,
then wondering what will become of me,
and finally to work alone under a lamp
as if everything depended on this,
groping blindly down a page,
like someone lost in a forest.