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The Afterlife Essay

Billy Collins
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Pool is a published poet and teacher of advanced placement and international baccalaureate senior English. In this essay, Pool discusses Collins as an ironic, postmodern poet.

Billy Collins threatens to become the first genuinely popular American poet since Robert Frost and Rod McKuen. Unlike Frost, though, Collins suffers from a decades-long decline in publications that print poetry. Long past are the days when newspapers would regularly print verse and during which educated Americans were exposed to poetry in a variety of general magazines. But, unlike McKuen, whose works gained a great deal of popularity in the late 1960s, Collins is able to be accessible without being maudlin and banal. Collins' success, though, has bred its own species of critic such as Jeredith Merrin, who lambastes Collins' user-friendliness and lack of emotional depth. Writing in The Southern Review, Merrin asserts that Collins "is a writer who takes you for...

(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 1,789 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Afterlife Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Afterlife from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.