The Rain in Portugal
The Rain in Portugal - a title that admits he's not much of a rhymer - sheds Collins's ironic light on such subjects as travel and art, cats and dogs, loneliness and love, beauty and death. His tones range from the whimsical - 'the dogs of Minneapolis . . . / have no idea they're in Minneapolis' - to the elegiac in a reaction to the death of Seamus Heaney. A student of the everyday, here Collins contemplates a weathervane, a still-life painting, the calendar, and a child lost at a beach. His imaginative fabrications have Shakespeare flying comfortably in first class and Keith Richards supporting the globe on his head. By turns entertaining, engaging, and enlightening, The Rain in Portugal amounts to another chorus of poems from one of the most respected and familiar voices in the world of poetry.