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The Afterlife Critical Essay

Billy Collins
This Study Guide consists of approximately 26 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Afterlife.
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Critical Overview

Questions about Angels is widely acknowledged to be Collins' breakthrough collection, picked by Edward Hirsch as a selection in the National Poetry series for 1990. Reviews, however, were mixed, and critics remain divided as to the merits of his poetry today. Penny Kaganoff, for example, reviewing the collection for Publishers Weekly, writes, "Collins' images are often strange and wonderful but too frequently his poems are constricted by the novelty of a unifying metaphor." Echoing a common response to Collins' poetry often voiced by other critics, Kaganoff notes, "We can admire the scope of Collins' imagination, but his poems rarely induce an emotional reaction, precluding us from any affinity with his experience." Writing for Library Journal, Ellen Kaufman describes Collins' poetry as "metaphyscial musings in a whimsical mode," but admits that sometimes his poems are "occasionally glib or bland." Reviewing Collins' Sailing Alone around the Room: New and Selected Poems...

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This section contains 245 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Afterlife Study Guide
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The Afterlife from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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