6 Memorable Billy Collins Rain in Portugal Quotes

Billy Collins The Rain in Portugal Quote

1. “Much has been said about being in the present. It’s the place to be, according to the gurus, like the latest club on the downtown scene, but no one, it seems, is able to give you directions.”

Billy Collins, “The Present”

In high school, I hated poetry.

In college, however, poetry became my constant companion. Sometimes, your love of a subject really does boil down to your teacher and the selections you’re assigned to read.

One rainy evening spent wandering around the local Barnes & Noble led me to discover Billy Collins – a former U.S. Poet Laureate and considered by many to be “America’s favorite poet.”

His choice of simple words and the focus on the seemingly mundane and everyday reminded me of Robert Frost and even Walt Whitman at times, two of my other all-time favorite American poets.

2. “It’s a law as immutable as the ones governing bodies in motion and bodies at rest that a cat picked up will never stay in the place where you choose to set it down. I bet you’d be happy on the sofa or this hassock or this knitted throw pillow are a few examples of bets you are bound to lose.” | Billy Collins, “Lucky Cat

Billy Collins Rain In Portugal Cat Quote Road Taken

If you’ve ever had a cat, you know this to be true. I’ve spent so much money on plush beds for my snowshoe cat, Zelda, and her favorite place to sleep is on a white towel at the end of the bed.

Meanwhile, on yet another particularly rainy evening spent daydreaming about the travel I was having to postpone, I took down The Rain in Portugal from the shelf. I only intended to skim through it, revisiting a few favorites, but I slipped into the words, line after line, reading well into the night.

3. “The sensation of being homesick for a place that is not my home while being right in the middle of it” | Billy Collins, “Basho in Ireland”

After I read that line, I couldn’t help but think about all of the places I had traveled where I had experienced that same sensation he was describing. And even though I was currently sitting alone in a lamplit room sometime around the middle of the night, I didn’t feel alone. That’s the power of poetry.

Voices speak to us across space and time, giving shape to our thoughts and experiences in small black and white type.

4. “Imagining what the weather will be like on the day following your death has a place on that list of things that distinguish us from animals as if walking around on two legs laughing to ourselves were not enough to close the case.” | Billy Collins, “Helium”

5. “so refreshing to take a deep breath outdoors then exhale all the woes of the day and even the longer woes and thorns of the year.” | Billy Collins, “Under the Stars”

6. “The trouble with the present is that it’s always in a state of vanishing. Take the second it takes to end this sentence with a period—already gone.” | Billy Collins, “The Present”

Billy Collins Rain In Portugal Quotes Road Taken

Although the present is vanishing even as I type this, I’m learning the subtle art of trying to live in that in-between space. Robert Frost always believed that poetry should provide us with “a momentary stay against confusion.” Not all poems have that power, but I’m always on the lookout for those that do.

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy these poem quotes from Billy Collins Rain in Portugal as much as I do. If you’re interested in reading the book, click here for the Amazon link.

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