Nirmit Shah sent across this unassuming video the other day, about Billy Collins (two-term U.S. Poet Laureate as he reminds us) reciting five of his poems set to animation.

The video really caught my attention at poem four (The Country) about a small white mouse and a matchstick – its completely unexpected twist in the plot had me glued to the poem, with twinkling eyes and an affectionate smile.

Billy also recites a poem at the end of the talk, addressed to a 17-year old teenager. This poem has no animation – but it doesn’t need it. Not in slightest. Listen on, as faces of all your siblings/ neighbourhood kids / school juniors burst hilariously into your head.

PS – Watch the video in HD. The animations and stage look crystal clear, and you can count every wrinkle on poor Billy’s face.

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5 thoughts on “Billy Collins on TedTalks

  1. Now imagine how excited I was at the prospect of showing ‘Adolescence’ to all those self-entitled idiots I knew back from my neighborhood high school when it slowly but surely dawned on me that, at this ripe young age of 21, I too fit quite snugly into Collins’ stereotype..
    Other than that, yes I did catch myself grinning at the story of the Country Mouse.
    But the one with the dollhouse did a number on me. It reminded me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8StRAJCork

    • That’s true, Dollhouse gets under your skin (the animation works especially well on it)
      And that YouTube video of Weeds! Sunny, country music and then a horror story

  2. Reblogged this on Krystina's Crossings and commented:
    Last year Billy Collins gave a poetry reading at my college. So, when I saw this reblogged by budapestivities, I figured I’d share this with everyone else. I sometimes find poems difficult to get through, but I really enjoy Billy Collins’ poetry.

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