Collection Nine Horses By Billy Collins Essay

1451 Words Apr 11th, 2015 6 Pages
In his poem collection Nine Horses, Billy Collins composes poems in which he portrays himself as a common man, not a successful poet laureate. Describing the art of writing, Collins records three poems ("Royal Aristocrat," "Death in New Orleans, a Romance," and "Writing in the Afterlife") emphasizing the beauty in writing as it "add[s] to the great secretarial din" ("Royal Aristocrat" 26), and showing the transition of writing as an art form from handwritten work to typed pieces. This trio takes on the responsibility of describing the maturing journey of an author, even beyond the grave.
"Royal Aristocrat," the first poem in the writing trio, describes writing as a way to keep busy, adding to the noise of life. Collins shows that futility of silence can be overcome, even when one can only randomly strike keys on a typewriter. The speaker, an older writer content with simply "adding to the great secretarial din" rather than becoming part of the silence, writes from a nostalgic point of view for the majority of the poem. The first three stanzas describe the speaker 's struggle to write quietly, trying "not to wake the whole house." The metonymy of "whole house" gives the reader an idea of the sound traveling through the entire house, contrasting with the traditional silence of night. The plosive accent and consonance of the k sound in clatter/keys allows the reader to use their auditory sense to feel more connected with the poem. The speaker further emphasizes the loudness of…

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