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Questions about Angels (Pitt Poetry Series) [Paperback]

Billy Collins

Price: 9.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

31 Mar 1999 Pitt Poetry Series
Billy Collins's poetry has been described by Gerald Stern as "heartbreakingly beautiful." Annie Proulx admits, "I have never before felt possessive about a poet, but I am fiercely glad that Billy Collins is ours." The "New York Times calls him simply "the real thing." Over the past decade, Collins has garnered critical acclaim and broad popular appeal. To celebrate his years as U.S. Poet Laureate, the three books that helped establish and secure his reputation during the 1990s--"Questions About Angels; The Art Drowning; and "Picnic, Lightning--are now available in special, limited edition hardcovers as well as in paperback.

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Questions about Angels (Pitt Poetry Series) + Picnic, Lightning (Pitt Poetry Series) + The Art of Drowning (Pitt Poetry Series)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 88 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press (31 Mar 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0822956985
  • ISBN-13: 978-0822956983
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.9 x 0.8 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 798,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be Required Reading for jaded citizens 4 Jan 2002
By Anita Stith Tafolla - Published on
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.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Philosophy and Beauty 25 Dec 1999
By Damian Lessman - Published on
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
5.0 out of 5 stars rejected but dog loyal 9 Dec 1999
By James W. Crissman - Published on
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
5.0 out of 5 stars No reference materials required 11 Sep 2001
By A Customer - Published on
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
5.0 out of 5 stars The Magic continues. 9 Sep 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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