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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Billy Collins is funny, fresh and a flight above the rest., 31 Jan 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes (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
5.0 out of 5 stars refreshing our way of looking at the world, 14 Feb 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare collection of the finest and funniest from Collins, 23 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A plethoric multitude of excellence, 1 May 2003
This review is from: Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes (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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, observant and able to see into your soul..., 12 Nov 2009
By 
LittleMoon (loving my life in the rain) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes (Paperback)
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.
[...]
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

[NB: This selected poems contains work from The Apple that Astonished Paris, Questions About Angels, The Art of Drowning, and Picnic, Lightning - 4 collections spanning the decade from 1988-1998.]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great introduction to Collins, 22 July 2012
By 
Glasgow Reader (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes (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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5.0 out of 5 stars Billy Collins is a fantastic poet, 20 May 2014
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This review is from: Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars School text book, 28 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes (Paperback)
I bought this book for my son as he is reading it as part of an A level English text. Book arrived very quickly. Good service
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5.0 out of 5 stars Taking off Emily Dickinson's Clothes - Billy Collins, 30 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars great poems, 7 April 2012
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This review is from: Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes (Paperback)
These poems are funny, thoughtful and how life is, I thought. They are cheery but serious. A great book for the bedside table.
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Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes
Taking Off Emily Dickinson's Clothes by Billy Collins (Paperback - 19 May 2000)
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