Review on Angels by Billy Collins


  1. Responses to classmates should demonstrate critical engagement as well.  That means that you must do more than simply repeat and/or agree with your classmate.  Your responses should attempt to develop the conversation further, expanding on your classmate’s original point or offering a counterargument.


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Post #1

Post 1 week 6Original post: Wed 4/21/2021 at 7:05 PM

For my first post for the week, I chose to talk about Questions About Angels by Billy Collins. I thought this poem was very interesting to read.  I read over it more than a few times. IT was very beautifully written. I think this author is by far my favorite that we have read from so far. The way he writes is so much easier to understand than others, yet it speaks on so many levels and can be taken so many different ways. Questions About Angels really made me think about angels in a very different way. I do not think I ever thought about the things angels do until I really read this poem. When the poem discusses the one lone angel dancing alone in her stocking feet, I really felt like that is how I have always thought of angels. However, after reading this poem, I think that many of the points Collins makes of what they could be doing really might be true. Obviously, a big part of what you get out of this poem starts on the fact of do you believe in angels or not? I feel that when it starts to say that it is getting too late for the musicians is really a comparison to the fact that angels never sleep. They are forever around doing what angels do. How many can dance on a pin though? I think that the other questions that Collins asked are much more interesting than that question though.



week 6 FP 1Original post: Tue 4/20/2021 at 10:57 PM

Questions About Angels

By Billy Collins


This poem explores the existence of angels and raises some unique questions about their beings and personalities. The poet has used an anthropomorphic version of angels in order to make them relatable to a common man. Humans have always understood divinity in anthropomorphic terms because of their limited imaginative powers. It is impossible to build a connection with someone or something that is beyond our imagination. Therefore, in the quest of building a connection with the divine, humans tend to construct such an image of supernatural or divine beings that is ‘human’ in its form and content. In this way, it is easier to worship or at least accept beings like angels. The poem goes a step further by putting the anthropometric angel in the situations and conditions of the real world. Billy’s use of imagery paints a picture of angels that is perceivable for an average human. (Collins) The questions like what do angels eat and what they wear allow the readers to think about angels through an entirely new prism. On the one hand, the poem flirts with the ideas of divine existence while on the other hand, it criticizes the Church’s dogmatism.  Even the title of this poem appears to be a challenge to the Church’s practice of not questioning or even thinking too much about the divine beings. The poem looks like an act of rebellion against this practice because it merely violates the conservative religious practices and does not any serious questions about angels. It ridicules the nature of questions that we are allowed to ask and discuss. The poet emboldens the reader to be frank in his inquiry of the divine. (Collins)


Week 6 post 2Original post: Wed 4/21/2021 at 8:53 AM

Which treatment of roses is the most conventional and which one is the most surprising?

I found Edmund Waller’s Go, Lovely Rose to be the most conventional. The poem describes a women to a rose, “How sweet and fair she seems to be…part of time they share” (390). Its easy to compare roses to feminine beauty and that is probably why they have been a favored image in poetry for many centuries. The most surprising poem was William Blake’s The Sick Rose. He equates a rose to destroying life at the end. Not sure if I get the poem at all but it seems he depicts roses as dark throughout the poem.

What precise emotion is expressed in each poem?

A Red, Red Rose- Expressions of deep affection and endearment towards an individual.

Go, Lovely Rose-Lots of different emotions in this one but I think the main one would be desire. He wants the women he is comparing the rose to.

The Sick Rose- Fear and horror. Willaim refers to a rose as an invisible worm and destroys life. Pretty scary if you ask me.

One Perfect Rose- Comedy, Dorothy jokes she would have rather received a limo than a rose.

Sea Rose- Awkwardness, poem goes about how the rose is abnormal but still beautiful.

Is there a meaningful difference between poems in which the rose is the subject and poems in which it is a tool for comparison?

I believe there is a meaningful difference between the styles of poems. The poems that the rose is the subject seem to be darker and unhappy. While the poems that use roses as a tool for comparison are bright and happy.


“Sea Rose”Original post: Wed 4/21/2021 at 9:29 AM

This poem symbolic because it talks about the ocean and a rose. What the ocean does to the rose and how the rose can come out of it. It talks about the rose getting caught up in the drift of the ocean and how the rose will make it out of the mess. I feel like that can be our lives. It can be messy and scary but we just need to keep going. Keep pushing through. We may come out a little damage but we can make it out. This what I get out of the poem. Also it talks about the sand. How the rose landed on the sand and the wind driving behind the rose landing. It also talks about how the smell of the rose is there. How the fragrance stayed in the leaf the whole time. I like the symbolism because things can be hard but if you fight like the rose did against the ocean it will make you stronger. It will make you better. It talks about how ruff the rose is. To me it is talking about how the rose is strong. It can handle anything coming its way. The ocean is huge but it will make it to the end. The rose was fighting against the ocean. I feel we need to fight whatever we need to if that is the case in our life. If we need to fight for something fight like the rose did. The rose is strong.



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