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Billy Collins Writing Styles in The Afterlife

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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Style

Address

A poem of address is directed towards a particular audience. In this case, the speaker addresses "you" in the first and last stanzas. This suggests that the "you" is the reader, but it is also the speaker himself, or at least another part of the speaker. By addressing the second person, the speaker can create a tone both distant and intimate and dramatize what is at root a lyric poem. Other poets who have used the second person for this effect successfully include Mark Strand, Margaret Gibson, and John Hollander.

Tone

The tone of a poem refers to the attitude or stance of the speaker towards the subject matter. Collins's poem is at once comic and serious. His speaker takes a humorous stance towards the idea of life after death, treating the beliefs of others in a comic vein. Yet, the ending of the poem is elegiac. Elegies...

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This section contains 292 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Afterlife Study Guide
Copyrights
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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