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

4.8 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Come full circle with 180 new, exciting poems selected and introduced by Billy Collins.
Inspired by Billy Collins's poem-a-day program for American high schools that he began through the Library of Congress, the original "Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry was a gathering of clear, contemporary poems aimed at a wide audience. In "180 More, Collins continues his ambitious mission of exposing readers of all ages to the best of today's poetry. Here are another 180 hospitable, engaging, reader-friendly poems, offering surprise and delight in a wide range of literary voices-comic, melancholy, reflective, irreverent. If poetry is the original travel literature, this anthology contains 180 vehicles ready to carry you away to unexpected places.
With poems by
Robert Bly
Carol Ann Duffy
Eamon Grennan
Mark Halliday
Jane Kenyon
David Kirby
Thomas Lux
Donna Masini
W. S. Merwin
Paul Muldoon
Carol Muske-Dukes
Vijay Seshadri
Naomi Shihab Nye
Gerald Stern
Ron Padgett
Linda Pastan
Victoria Redel
Franz Wright
Robert Wrigley
and many more

About the Author

Billy Collins was the Poet Laureate of the United States and the State of New York. He is a Distinguished Professor at Lehman College and a Senior Distinguished Fellow of the Winter Park Institute. A Literary Lion of the New York Public Library and author of many collections of poetry, including Bright Wings: An Illustrated Anthology of Poems About Birds and Horoscopes for the Dead, he lives in Westchester, New York.
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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: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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