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Nine Horses [Paperback]

Billy Collins
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
Price: £8.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

21 Mar 2003
Billy Collins is one of the world’s most popular poets. While his poems often begin in the everyday and domestic, fans know that they might end anywhere – and that they will lift their heads from the book to a world startlingly different from the one they had left moments before. Billy Collins’ previous collection, Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes, was an extraordinary success, introducing thousands of readers to his exhilarating poetry for the first time. By turns wildly funny and intensely moving, Nine Horses has won Billy Collins even more admirers.

Frequently Bought Together

Nine Horses + Sailing Alone around the Room: New and Selected Poems + Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes
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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; 2nd edition (21 Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 033041304X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330413046
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 440,403 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


‘Billy Collins is one of my favourite poets in the world’ Carol Ann Duffy

‘Delightfully direct, he won’t lose you in his lyricism but will transport you to a better place’ The Times

About the Author

Billy Collins has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. A professor of English at Lehman College, he was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States for 2001–2003. He lives with his wife in Westchester County, NY.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book/service ...well done! 7 Nov 2009
Billy Collins is a popular poet especially for those that don't like poetry. You can best relate to it if you are in his age it is is heavily about his experience of age. This particular selection is not his best but it does contain his best poem...Litany......very funny and very memorable. The others range from fairly amateurish to a little gem. All of them contain his unmistakable voice....introspective and ironic. I think that Collins has brought something new and original to the world of poetry. However he might be accused of being a bit of a light weight when it comes to content... mere reflections on a bird and wanderings of the mind.... he is not religious or spiritual but very philosophical BUT you don't get the sense that life is worthless and cheap and pointless like what pervades other atheistic poets
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nine Horses - Billy Collins 30 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A wonderful collection of poems. Collins speaks from the heart in a simple but rich language full of surprising images. A joy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars great poetry by the master. 9 Oct 2010
By tzhn
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had been thinking for a while to get this book. It was so easy for me to order it through amazon and have it sent to me as I live abroad. I got the book for an excellent price and it was delivered to my address in no time at all. jean michaelidesNine Horses
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very beautiful and witty!! 13 Aug 2010
By D. Lynn
Collins is an expert in taking you on a journey that leads to somewhere - whatever this somewhere may be -and in making you aware of everything that is going on around and inside of us. The themes are deep, sad, humorous, appealing, enriching, challenging and enjoyable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  40 reviews
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful wordsmith delivers 11 Oct 2002
By Paul H. Rich - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you've read the one star review that talks about Billy Collins writing about nothing and how worthless that is, then you've gotten one point of view - allow me to offer another. Doing "nothing" can be the height of human existence, and "nothing" can also be a very subjective perspective. I don't see myself as doing "nothing" when I'm laying in the summer grass staring at the shapes of clouds. I don't know if it is an American or simply a modern trait to categorize a lack of physical action as "doing nothing" but it certainly isn't a viewpoint shared by everyone. I happen to think that poetry about an awareness of things going on around and inside of us that we are not normally aware of is beautiful, and is as worthy a subject for poetry as any. In "Nine Horses" words once again flow off pages and trickle into the recesses of my soul, filling pockets of emptiness that I hadn't been aware sat idle amongst the consciousness of their surroundings. Turning these pages is shocking, humorous, sad, enriching, challenging and altogether enjoyable. There is a simple appeal, but the words are not simple. This is a fine craftsman in his workshop, doing what he's driven to do, and we are all better for it.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Personal (Not Confessional) Poetry 22 Feb 2004
By Timothy Haugh - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
How bold it would be to be critical of a man who is Poet Laureate of the United States. Fortunately, I don't have a lot of criticisms to make. I have been a Collins fan for some time, having come across a poem of his in Poetry magazine and then reading his collection Questions About Angels. I've been reading his stuff ever since.
I've never read a poet who keeps me enthralled on every page and Collins is no exception; however, there is a lot of good stuff here. "Night Letter to the Reader," "The Country," "Velocity," "Istanbul," "Love," "Creatures," "Birthday," "Albany," "Litany," "Bermuda" and "The Only Day in Existence" are among my favorites.
I particularly like a poem called "Tipping Point" where Collins brings out the arbitrariness of measuring time and the subtlety of our sensations of time: "...the sensation you might feel/as you passed through the moment//at the exact center of your life/or as you crossed the equator at night in a boat." Would we want to be able to sense the midpoint of our lives? Could we? Any more than we could sense passing over the equator?--another arbitrary way to measure our world. And yet, we do sense things deeply, if only in the deep dark night or while walking in the rain.
But Collins never dips to far into pretentiousness. In fact, in "Study in Orange and White" he illuminates the pretentiousness of titles. How many of us know that the painting generally referred to as "Whistler's mother" is in fact entitled "Arrangement in Gray and Black"? Then why not, Collins asks, Botticelli's "Birth of Venus" as "Composition is Blue, Ocher, Green, and Pink" or, best of all: "...a chef being roasted on a blazing spit/before an audience of ducks/and calling it ¡•Study in Orange and White.'" I always enjoy a poet who can bring in some humor because I find this to be a weakness in my own poetry.
Ultimately, as you read this poetry, you begin to realize that Collins is never far from you. This is not confessional poetry and yet the pronoun "I" appears in every single poem. But Collins is more of a friendly guide through his poetry than someone who is trying to beat you over the head with his themes. Collins has been compared to Frost and I think there is some truth in this. In this collection, Collins shows his Frost-like skill at presenting poems that are relatively short and very accessible in a surface reading but yield more if you want to put in some effort to dig a little deeper. This is an uncommon skill.
Modern poetry is too often neglected in this country today. That is too bad. Here is a collection of poetry that deserves to be read. In these rather short poems, Collins uses his personality and experiences to give his readers a share of those experiences--experiences that are worthwhile.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprise 20 Sep 2002
By Jan L. Nadeau - Published on
I don't know where I have been, but I just discovered Billy Collins a couple of weeks ago when he appeared in person for a poetry reading in Traverse City, Michigan. Wow! I bought Nine Horses and The Art of Drowning that night. Nine Horses is a wonderful book. Full of wit and humor along with very profound and meaningful poems. Most are short and the entire book can be read in no time at all. It was awesome seeing him in person, and I am glad I heard him read because I can now picture him and hear his voice when I read the poems. Nine Horses left me with a desire to read everything he has ever written - and I intend to do just that! His poems are fun, and some have an element of surprise at the end. Many are just the kind of thoughts that anyone might have on a lazy, summer afternoon while staring up at the clouds. Get this book. Read his poems, you will definitely not be disappointed.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Touching 20 Sep 2002
By A Customer - Published on
In Sailing Alone Around the Room, Billy Collins gathered some of his most breath-taking pieces, some new ones and many drawn from his previous works like Scotland, Not Touching, and I Chop Some Parsley...I am sure his readers, who were enamored with his engaging and unpretentious style wished that Nine Horses would serve a similar dish or even better, but it does not. Simplicity was beauty in Sailing, but Nine Horses is too plain. How I wish Collins would write more poems similar to Duck/Rabbit and Not Touching.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish that I was a droplet of water 20 Sep 2002
By David Walske - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Last night I received Billy Collins' new book of poems, "Nine Horses" and inhaled it in a single sitting. I then sat down and read it through a second time. This morning I am skipping through its pages, reliving favorite moments as if it were my own well-lived life. I am madly, impetuously, and hopelessly in love with this book. I wish that I was a droplet of water and that this book were a sponge.
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