Ballistics

Ballistics

by Billy Collins
4.2 15

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Ballistics 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Collins just gets better and better. This is his best book of poetry yet. From the wild fun of 'Hippos on Holiday' to the poingancy of 'On the Death of a Next-Door Neighbor' it is a great read whether you are a poetry lover or not!
Aram_Rothschild More than 1 year ago
Ball-less-tics. The reason for the popularity of this bloke escapes me. Yet he is all too quickly considered the bee's knees across the pond. His safe, unchallenging poems are bereft of passion and seem quite lazily written. And no I don't mean effortless, I simply mean flat out lazy. He reminds me of one of those "master painters" that pays a school of apprentice painters to paint his masterpieces, then he gets up off his spoiled bum and rather grandly signs it while shamelessly taking full credit for. I tried, believe me, I tried, to find something to redeem his lifeless, colourless, odorless work but it just wasn't there. A cold machine programmed to pump out stock poetry could have done better, been more human in tenor. Perhaps his popularity signals the death of poetry as we know it. Another miserable thought: this bloke has a new book on the way. I'm sure the literary lemmings will be queuing up to plant their tulips into his lifeless, colourless, odourless bum soon enough.
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Oklahomabooklady More than 1 year ago
This eighth collection by Billy Collins proves once again that poetry can be both intelligent and intelligible. Through his bestselling books and tenure as US Poet Laureate (2001-2003), Collins has blazed a difficult trail to win the reading public back to poetry. The poems he writes and advocates have the reader-friendly quality of "accessibility," much scorned in some academic circles today. Collins himself prefers to call such poetry "easy to enter," maintaining that poems may contain ambiguity and even mystery if only they will first allow the reader a starting point of understanding (i.e., plain English). Whether in a domestic scene or travelogue, we are given the beckoning portal of universal experience: the pleasures of food, foibles, including those of poets; nature's healing balm; and the perennial striving of love to overcome our innate separateness. Themes light or grave are treated with charm, gentleness, and a sense of humor that is by turns sophisticated, childlike, and self abasing. An excerpt from the poem "Despair" will sell the reader on Collins' irresistible variety of wit. After referring to "So much gloom and doubt in our poetry," the poet wonders what "the ancient Chinese poets/ would make of all this,/ these shadows and empty cupboards?" The poet's answer to his own question is a meditation containing an upbeat and comic resolve: Today, with the sun blazing in the trees, my thoughts turn to the great tenth-century celebrator of experience, Wa-Hoo, whose delight in the smallest things could hardly be restrained, and to his joyous counterpart in the western provinces, Ye-Hah.
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