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Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes Paperback – 19 May 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Reprints edition (19 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330376500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330376501
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Book Description

Billy Collins is one of America’s bestselling poets; he is also one of the rarest kind – an unalloyed pleasure to read.

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

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 Jan. 2002
Format: Paperback
Coming from Ireland - a world heritage site for poetry tourism - its great to read a serious poet who doesnt take his poetry, his times, or his place in history too solemnly.
Unimpressed by the posturing of many currently "well regarded" poets I found Collins' lightness of touch - his combination of unforgettable images, and cynical, yet unpretentious sentiments - rescuing poetry, for me, from pseuds corner.
I went straight out and bought his stuff when I heard him say in a BBC interview:"Poetry is hard to write; why should it also be hard to read?"
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Feb. 2005
Format: Paperback
Remember as a child how clear and funny and intriguing and peculiar the world looked? Remember how your imagination sped off on its own, like a bounding dog, sure it would find something fabulous? I'd forgotten this until I read my first Billy Collins poem. Since then, every one of his poems reminds me of this fresh, open way of seeing the world. Billy Collins restores your childlike eye, and reminds your adult self of all the magic out there in the world. I love him for this.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 May 2000
Format: Paperback
Billy Collins writes poems that achieve something incredible--he weaves humor and gravity together into an often hilarious and always exquisite braid of words. The simplicity and directness of the voice entice you in, and before you realize it, the poem has had its way with you...and left you breathless and grateful. I highly recommend this book for serious poetry lovers as well as first-time poetry buyers. This is excellent and amazing work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LittleMoon VINE VOICE on 12 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To read a Billy Collins poem is to be drawn into a conversation, just for two. He sets up a warm intimacy with the reader with such nonchalance and charm that it's hard to imagine how anyone could not be engaged. This is his ruse, and his appeal; his use of the vernacular makes it seem as though you are listening to the person next to you on the tube... and this person just happens to be funny, observant, and able to see into your soul.

Yes, he's American, but his poetry has a universal subject matter. He suggests that he writes best when he has nothing in particular to say, and many of his poems are indeed about "nothing in particular" or at least seem to be. Often from an amusing opener, Collins will take us on a journey to far off places, the endings rather distant from their beginnings.

Yes, he's humorous, even more so when you hear him read his own work. I rarely laugh out loud at Collins when I read him alone, because there's usually an anchor of melancholy, or a truth, or a resonance deeper than a laugh for me... but other readers should enjoy his work for what is this rare element in poetry... wit.

For the new to poetry, Collins presents one of the most accessible, and enjoyable doors into the genre; and for the initiated he's a comforting voice, a reassuring presence, a resting place amongst the glut of intellectual fare.

And here's a taster of Collins from the first and the last verse of the ever popular poem, Forgetfulness:

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never
even heard of.
[...
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bikarezza on 1 May 2003
Format: Paperback
This is by far one of my favourite collections of poetry. With works such as 'Another Reason Why I Don't Keep a Gun In The House' and an amusing parody on the Three Blind mice, you can't go wrong. As a writer myself, I am always keen to gain inspiration from the teachings of others; I assure you that with this book, there is no limit to the depths into which the mind can delve.
A great collection from an increasingly great and witty author!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Glasgow Reader on 22 July 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is a superb introduction to the poetry of American poet Billy Collins. It is selected poems from four of his books -
The Apple that Astonished Paris,
Questions About Angels,
The Art of Drowning,
Picnic, Lightning.

This is the first of Collins' poetry I've read, and I was so delighted with it I have since bought 4 other of his books. His poetry is wryly funny, warm, human, and deceptively readable. But don't let that fool you into thinking his poetry is "simple"; its just that he wears his learning easily, and writes so beautifully, that its sometimes on the second reading that the full meaning(s) of the poetry sink in (the title poem is a good example).

This is an intelligent, readable, and accessible poet - and there aren't enough of those around to let you ignore one of them; so buy and read this collection now. I promise you that it will leave you wanting more.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The title of this collection alone is enough to make you want to read these poems. Collins has a wonderful, irreverent sense of humor. An original...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Billy Collins poems are just completely lovely. I recommend his stuff to everyone. Just delightful - I can read his work over and over again.
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