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Questions About Angels: Poems (The National Poetry Series) Paperback – May 1991

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Paperback, May 1991
£17.15 £1.74
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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More About the Author

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Product Description


"Billy Collins's poetry is widely accessible. He writes in an original way about all manner of ordinary things and situations with both humor and a surprising contemplative twist."--James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress announcing the appointment of Billy Collins as Poet Laureate --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Billy Collins, named U.S. Poet Laureate in June 2001 and reappointed to the post in 2002, has published seven collections of poetry, including "The Apple That Astonished Paris; Nine Horses; The Art of Drowning; Picnic, Lightning; Questions about Angels; "and" Sailing Alone Around the Room." A professor of English at Lehman College of the City University of New York, he lives in Somers, New York. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 31 reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Should be Required Reading for jaded citizens 4 Jan. 2002
By Anita Stith Tafolla - Published on
Format: Paperback
Several weeks ago I first discovered Billy Collins. A newspaper article had a quotation where he discussed the fact that he uses subjects and predicates when writing poetry. This peculiar poetic quirk led me to go online to discover that poetry. There I found the poem "Nostalgia", which is included in this book.
I read it, enjoyed it, passed it on to friends. Then a strange thing happened - lines from Nostalgia kept cropping up in my memory. Each time it happened, I gained a deeper respect for the poem. I read and reread my cut-and-paste copy of Nostalgia. Finally, the only possible result occurred - I bought the book that contained it. A book filled with similar marvels.
Reviewers far more renowned that I have already given incredible praise to Billy Collin's work. I'm a pretty ordinary person. I've never studied so that I know all the "proper" elements of a poem. So what can I add that hasn't already been said? I can add that Billy Collins reaches people like me. He takes our ordinary, everyday experiences and looks at them with magic eyes. He sees - and says - the things we all want to feel about life and its infinite possibilities.
Above all, he makes me feel good about my life and my world. I urge you to explore the Collins world - to get that same surge of energy that I have experienced.
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Philosophy and Beauty 25 Dec. 1999
By Damian Lessman - Published on
Format: Paperback
I only happened to come across Billy Collins by sheer accident at the bookstore. Curious, I pulled it out and began to read. I, a T.S. Eliot fanatic, was struck down by the absence of those very things I love about Eliot. Collins has a deceptively simple style bereft of even the vaguest trace of poetic posturing. He is not obsessed with language and never picks a word just for the echoes it might produce. One thing I noticed while reading the other reviews of this book was the repition of the word 'accessible,' so I'm not the only one to believe that Collins can be argued about at the dinner table while you're waiting for dessert to be brought out. (Of course, at that point dessert may just never get brought out.) This does not mean that Collins has a 'point' he wishes to express with each poem. On the contrary, each poem leaves a distinct aftertaste that lingers in those deliciously ripe moments after you close the book for a second to savor what you have just finished reading. It is this blend of philosophy and beauty that draws you into his poetry and makes you hunger for more.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
rejected but dog loyal 9 Dec. 1999
By James W. Crissman - Published on
Format: Paperback
I missed the final guest editor's cut with a batch of poems sent to Alaska Quarterly Review, finding out only later that that editor was Billy Collins. Still, he is one of only a few modern poets that I not only buy for myself, but buy for gifts. People who didn't think they even liked poetry have their little peepers blown wide open by this guy. Simple clear language, luminous imagery, and the generous sort of humor that protects sensitive souls from despair. This is poetry that communicates love of language, love of ideas, and love for the reader. Billy, write me, this is a dinner invitation.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
No reference materials required 11 Sept. 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I don't read too much poetry anymore, I'm too short of time to spend it checking an encyclopedia to understand who the poet is talking about. Often today's poetry becomes a contest between the writer and reader as to who knows the most about ancient Greeks or Babylonia. But along comes Billy Collins, a poet who speaks my language. I related immediately with the subject of his poem, "Forgetfulness". The second stanza describes familiar struggles, "as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain to a little fishing village where there are no phones." As I reach the golden years, memories are replaced with a keen awareness of mortality. The author's final stanza in "The Afterlife", reinforces my personal belief that the small pleasures of life are the important ones. Speaking of the hopes of those existing in the state of afterlife; "wishing they could return so they could learn Italian or see the pyramids, or play some golf in a light rain. They wish they could wake in the morning like you and stand at a window examining the winter trees...". My wish, is that Billy Collins keeps us all laughing and enjoying his poetry for many years, and books, to come.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
The Magic continues. 9 Sept. 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading Picnic, Lightning and loving it, I went searching for more of Collins' work. "Questions About Angels" did not disappoint. While I believe that Picnic is a more polished and more accessible collection of poems, "Angels" left me with many favorites and with the continued amazement at how Collins' language can cut so deeply to the heart of so many matters. He remains my favorite contemporary poet and I would encourage anyone with a love for language to give him a try.
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