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The Afterlife Essay

Billy Collins
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In the following essay, Marshall positions Collins within a wide literary context of poets from Wallace Stevens to William Wordsworth, noting Collins' penchant for the musicality of performance art and lyrical rumination.

Billy Collins' poetry has received a great deal of critical acclaim and several prestigious awards. From his first mature work in The Apple That Astonished Paris to his later Sailing Alone around the Room: New and Selected Poems, he has adopted a voice that is both philosophical and comic, intellectually stimulating yet accessible. In fact, Collins' attraction to performance poetry (his CD audio book The Best Cigarette sold well) and his reasonably large popular appeal might seem antithetical to the critical acclaim he has received. To put it another way, the accessibility of Collins' work and the emphasis by the poet and his publishers on his stature as a mainstream poet are quite unexpected in the...

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This section contains 814 words
(approx. 3 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.
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