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Billy Collins, Analysis Of His Poems. Shoveling Snow With Buddha, Victoria's Secret, And I Chop Some Parsley While Listening To Art Blakey's Version Of "Three Blind Mice"

3312 words - 14 pages

Arguably the most popular poet in America, Billy Collins provides readers with two types of poetry that is nothing like typical poetry. One of his unique styles is writing as if the poem could be read like a novel. The other type brings humor and whimsy to his work, yet he hints at a seriousness that lies beneath the surface. Both styles of poetry are easy to read, but take a second look to realize what the Collins is intending the reader to understand. Billy Collins is an exceptionally talented poet whose writing at first can be taken to be a simple comedy but when read more carefully, it can be interpreted as a far more complex script. First readings of the poems “ I Chop Some Parsley ...view middle of the document...

For instance, “ …looks at me over her bare shoulder, / cannot hide the shadow of annoyance in her brow. ” None of the models in the photographs seem to like narrator looking at them. Yet, even still the narrator continues to look at the next model until he realizes that he has wasted too much time already. He still has so much to do and it sounds as if there is a commotion going on in his house. The dog is barking, the phone is ringing, and the rain is beating on the roof. In a second and deeper reading of “ Victoria’s Secret ” Collins describes each of the models in an absurd pose. This is from the hard work the modeling agencies put the girls through. Collins is making a mockery of the girls and in greater sense, the modeling agencies. For example, “ …her mouth is the shape of petulance. ” “ a confused mixture of pain and surprise / as if she had stepped on a tack ” “ arching one eyebrow slightly ” and best of all “ stretched out catlike… ” Since, Collins is a college professor in New York City, all of these big modeling agencies’ advertisements are all over the streets, that is why he is making such a mockery of them. All of these models are in awkward poses that they obviously are not comfortable in but, still agree to do them just to be in the photo. Another thought Collins is trying to get across to the reader is the amount of time the narrator had spent looking at pictures. The narrator represents every average everyday guy who since childhood has spent a lot of time looking at pictures. This child had grown up to be a man and still imprinted in his memory, a good time is looking at pictures; of course, now of societies definition of beautiful women. The last thought Collins throws into this poem is the idea that life is too short to waste. “ Life is rushing by like a mad, swollen river. ” He puts the image of roses blossoming in the garden and the next minute it is snowing. In the first reading of “ Shoveling Snow with Buddha ” the narrator is shoveling a driveway with Buddha. This is something that is very unlike Buddha’s usual environment and unlike his usual action. Once the narrator gets past that point, it becomes a story of two guys shoveling a driveway. They work and work “ We toss the light power into the clean air. ” Then the narrator realizes that what they are doing is more than just shoveling snow; they are practicing a religion. “ This is so much better than a sermon in church, ” Thought the poem Buddha is mostly silent until the snow is piled high all around them, he then asks if they could go inside and play cards after they finish. This strikes the narrator excitement and he tells Buddha that not only will they play cards but, will also drink some hot chocolate. Buddha is satisfied with the narrator’s reply and returns to his work.In a second and deeper reading of “ Shoveling Snow...

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