Monday, January 30, 2012

Browsing Area Book of the Week, January 30, 2012.

Horoscopes for the Dead: poems  by Billy Collins.
Library Call Number: PS3553.O47478H67 2011.
The 2001-03  United States Poet Laureate, Collins writes seemingly simple verse, that somehow remains enigmatic.  The Publisher’s Weekly Review states:  
 Collins's gently ironic, gently elegiac work…has slowly constructed a pitch-perfect purgatory, and this death-themed ninth collection seems to want to make it as literal as possible: it opens as the speaker stands "before the joined grave of my parents" and asks, "What do you think of my new glasses?" In a poem titled "Hell," the speaker has "a feeling that is much worse/ than shopping for a mattress in a mall,/ of greater duration without question,/ and there is no random pitchforking here,/ no licking flames to fear,/ only this cavernous store with its maze of bedding." …despite the prosaic settings and everyday language, Collins is after the big questions: of life, death, and how to live. But the world is not of his making, and his is a temperament oddly suited to a world where "the correct answer" to questions like why the stars appear as they do, strike "not like a bolt of lightning/ but more like a heavy bolt of cloth.”

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