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Picnic, Lightning


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About the Author

Billy Collins, named U.S. Poet Laureate in June 2001 and reappointed to the post in 2002, has published seven collections of poetry, including The Apple That Astonished Paris; Nine Horses; The Art of Drowning; Picnic, Lightning; Questions about Angels;


"Billy Collins writes lovely poems--lovely in a way almost nobody's since Roethke's are. Limpid, gently and consistently startling, more serious than they seem, they describe all the worlds that are and were and some others besides."
--John Updike

"I have never before felt possessive about a poet, but I am fiercely glad that Billy Collins is ours--smart, his strings tuned and resonant, his wonderful eye looping over the things, events and ideas of the world, rueful, playful, warm-voiced, easy to love."
--E. Annie Proulx

"Billy Collins's poetry is heartbreakingly beautiful. It is also wise, funny, and brilliant. My ten favorites keep shifting all the time. Ovid is in again; so is Billy Collins."--Gerald Stern

"Billy Collins writes a kind of poetry that is . . . graceful, inviting, generous-hearted, able to treat engagingly of life's pleasures as well as its pain. . . . entering a poem by Mr. Collins is like entering a comfortable yet beautifully appointed guet room; for the time being, it will give you all that you need."--The Washington Times

"Billy Collins, America's poet laureate, 'hits you between the eyes' with his 'twisted' take on everyday life."--U.S. News & World Report

"These are wonderful poems and he's one of our best poets."--American Poet
"The easy swing of Collins's lines reflect his love of jazz and his ready response to beauty; the warmth of his voice emanates from his instinct for pleasure and his propensity toward humor. . . . Collins is jazzman and Buddhist, charmer and prince."

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