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180 More: Extraordinary Poems for Every Day Paperback – March 29, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks (March 29, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812972961
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812972962
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

First Hour
Sharon Olds


That hour, I was most myself. I had shrugged

my mother slowly off, I lay there

taking my first breaths, as if

the air of the room was blowing me

like a bubble. All I had to do

was go out along the line of my gaze and back,

out and back, on gravity’s silk, the

pressure of the air a caress, smelling on my

self her creamy blood. The air

was softly touching my skin and tongue,

entering me and drawing forth the little

sighs I did not know as mine.

I was not afraid. I lay in the quiet

and looked, and did the wordless thought,

my mind was getting its oxygen

direct, the rich mix by mouth.

I hated no one. I gazed and gazed,

and everything was interesting, I was

free, not yet in love, I did not

belong to anyone, I had drunk

no milk, yet—no one had

my heart. I was not very human. I did not

know there was anyone else. I lay

like a god, for an hour, then they came for me,

and took me to my mother.






The Alien
Greg Delanty


I’m back again scrutinising the Milky Way

of your ultrasound, scanning the dark

matter, the nothingness, that now the heads say

is chockablock with quarks & squarks,

gravitons & gravitini, photons & photinos. Our sprout,



who art there inside the spacecraft

of your ma, the time capsule of this printout,

hurling & whirling towards us, it’s all daft

on this earth. Our alien who art in the heavens,

our Martian, our little green man, we’re anxious



to make contact, to ask divers questions

about the heavendom you hail from, to discuss

the whole shebang of the beginning&end,

the pre-big-bang untime before you forget the why

and lie of thy first place. And, our friend,



to say Welcome, that we mean no harm, we’d die

for you even, that we pray you’re not here

to subdue us, that we’d put away

our ray guns, missiles, attitude and share

our world with you, little big head, if only you stay.





Waking with Russell
Don Paterson


Whatever the difference is, it all began

the day we woke up face-to-face like lovers

and his four-day-old smile dawned on him again,

possessed him, till it would not fall or waver;

and I pitched back not my old hard-pressed grin

but his own smile, or one I’d rediscovered.

Dear son, I was mezzo del’ cammin

and the true path was as lost to me as ever

when you cut in front and lit it as you ran.

See how the true gift never leaves the giver:

returned and redelivered, it rolled on

until the smile poured through us like a river.

How fine, I thought, this waking amongst men!

I kissed your mouth and pledged myself forever.





The Floating Rib
Lucia Perillo


Because a woman had eaten something

when a man told her not to. Because the man

who told her not to had made her

from another man’s bones. That’s why

men badgered the heart-side of her chest,

knowing she could not give the bone back, knowing

she would always owe them that one bone.



And you could see how older girls who knew

their catechism armed themselves against it:

with the pike end of teasing combs

they scabbarded in pocketbooks that clashed

against the jumper’s nightwatch plaid.

In the girl’s bathroom, you watched them

wield the spike in dangerous proximity to their eyes,



shepherding the bangs through which they peered

like cheetahs in an upside-downward-growing grass.

Then they’d mouth the words to “Runaway”

while they ran white lipstick round their lips,

white to announce they had no blood

so any wound would leave no trace, as Eve’s

having nothing more to lose must have made



lll her fearless. What was weird was how soon

the ordinary days started running past them

like a river, how willingly they entered it

and how they rose up on the other side. Tamed,

or god no . . . your mother: ready to settle

with whoever found the bone under her blouse

and give it over, and make a life out of the getting

back.




TO THE DUST OF THE ROAD
W. S. Merwin


And in the morning you are up again

with the way leading through you for a while

longer if the wind is motionless when

the cars reach where the asphalt ends a mile

or so below the main road and the wave

you rise into is different every time

and you are one with it until you have

made your way up to the top of your climb

and brightened in that moment of that day

and then you turn as when you rose before

in fire or wind from the ends of the earth

to pause here and you seem to drift away

on into nothing to lie down once more

until another breath brings you to birth

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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I really enjoyed reading all the poems in this book.
Robert G Yokoyama
Billy Collins is unfailingly brilliant in his choice of poems for this collection.
J P McGillicuddie
The book would be worth the money for that poem alone.
Pistol Packin' Piggy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By John Michael Albert on April 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
The biggest problem with modern anything is that there is so much of it. I am profoundly grateful to people like Billy Collins who are willing to put their excellent eyes and ears to work and help me sift through the straw for the gold. There's humor here, and gravity, and classical themes treated with modern twists, and all suffused with materly craft. High school? I'm one (with Frank Conroy) who believes you should always shoot over your head. So, definitely high school. And most of the rest of America, seeing how it seems to be unaware that the country is experiencing a great poetic renaissance these days.

And as for reservations on language or subject matter, it is the imperative of poetry to wade fearlessly into both and reveal the power inherent in the skillful marriage of the unusual and the unexpected. Everyone thinks of these things -- regardless of polite or politically correct conventions -- it's someone's responsibility to speak of these things ... and that's what poets are for.

I have more poems ticked in the table of contents of this anthology than any other poetry book I've read -- and I read three or four of them a week (it's my not-so-secret perversion, if you will). There's so much to inspire here, so much to make one think. Billy Collins learned from what worked in the first volume -- a powerful experience in its own right -- and make the sequal doubly good. Hooray for him!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robert G Yokoyama VINE VOICE on May 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
I knew never that poetry could be so fun. The poems in this book are about a wide variety of subjects that are enjoyable and easy to understand. Jeep Cherokee by Bruce Jacobs is one of my favorite poems. It is a poem about how a car is a symbol of freedom and adventure. Jacobs explains how a car can often be a reflection of a person's personality.

The Cowardice of Husbands by David Kirby is another favorite of mine. It is a poem about how some husbands hate to do some things with their wives like go to plays, operas, and sometimes even sit through poetry readings. This poem is a honest and truthful opinion about the relationship between men and women. Birthday Poem by Erin Murphy really sticks out too. It is about a woman trying to remember the last name of her friend who died of breast cancer. It is a very moving poem about about friendship and how much our friends mean to us.

I really enjoyed the poem Dorie Off To Atlanta by Mark Halliday. Reading this poem is like listening to a conversation between two girlfriends about a mutual friend they have dating a great guy. Valentine is a very clever poem by Carol Ann Duffy. It is a poem about how she feels how an onion would be a good gift to give someone for Valentine's Day. I liked the originality of these two poems very much.

Katia Kapovich's Painting A Room is a good example about how doing something so ordinary can be symbolic and meaningful. She dedicates this poem to her friend who paints her apartment in Russia before coming to America in 1989. She reflects on her memories of living in the apartment like her past romances, old jobs, and night phone calls. It is a very touching poem and one of my favorites.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By T. D. on April 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
As a high school teacher, I've enjoyed using Collins's earlier collection, Poetry 180. This book offers a similar sensibility: accessible poetry that often surprises and delights. While I have only read about half of the collection, I can offer these insights. Most poets are represented with a single work, some by two, and a pair - Robert Wrigley and Bill Knott - merit three. With the same number of poems but 45 more pages than the previous volume, it is apparent that some longer poems have been selected, though many clock in at a single page. If David Kirby's "A Cowardice of Husbands" is any indication, the longer poems are a welcome addition.

As someone developing my taste for poetry, I appreciate the survey of high-quality writing. A caution to teachers: there are several poems in this collection that contain an occasional expletive, or that dwell on a topic some communities might find objectionable.
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Ingalls on May 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
Why do intelligent, well-educated, literate men such as myself avoid poetry as if you could catch a communicable disease from it? The answer is simple: poetry has become indecipherable, incomprehensible, and an academic exercise rather than an enjoyable one. The joke has been that the only people reading poetry anymore are poets who read each other's poems out of social obligation ("I'll read yours if you read mine"). Everyone else has pretty much given up on it. A lot of poetry is also, transparently, the scribblings of manic-depressives and individuals who have way too much time on their hands and who spend way too much of that time brooding rather than doing. There are too many poems out there that make strained similes and laughably absurd metaphors ("My lover's lips are like the first Model T Ford to roll off the assembly line...") There are also way too many poems that are what I call "Oprah poems". "Oprah poems" are poems, usually written by women, that consist of little more than a long cry (or angry, poisonous rant) over a relationship that has ended. In other words, chick lit for women in therapy. Get over it, sister. I would rather see someone dancing wildly and drunkenly on a dance floor to "I will survive" than to have to read one of those self-pitying epics in bathos - and that isn't saying much. Then there are the sweaty poems written by self-consciously libidinous males (usually, randy young academics) that are nothing more than tedious, thesaurus generated pornography by self-absorbed boy-men who must think that they are the only men alive in the universe with a sex drive. Otherwise, why would they think their experience was so novel that they were driven to write about it and publish it?Read more ›
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