“His rangers hat is cocked at a disturbing angle.”
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“His rangers hat is cocked at a disturbing angle.” . B I LL Y C O LL I N S. Jake Sager. Paul Flanagan. Michael Andrews. American 2001 U.S . Poet Laureate Sometimes referred to as the most popular poet in America

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B i ll y c o ll i n s

“His rangers hat is cocked at a disturbing angle.”


Jake Sager.

Paul Flanagan.

Michael Andrews.

Background information

  • American

  • 2001 U.S. Poet Laureate

  • Sometimes referred to as the most popular poet in America

  • He has received poetry fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation

Background Information




  • Born in New York City

  • Mom was a nurse

  • Had ability to recite entire verses on almost any subject.

  • Ability inspired Billy’s love of words





“Smokey the Bear heads into the autumn woods with a red can of gasoline and a box of wooden matches.

His ranger's hat is cocked at a disturbing angle.

His brown fur gleams under the high sun as his paws, the size of catcher's mitts, crackle into the distance.

He is sick of dispensing warnings to the careless, the half-wit camper, the dumbbell hiker.

He is going to show them how a professional does it.”


Another reason i don t keep a gun in the house

  • “The neighbors' dog will not stop barking.He is barking the same high, rhythmic barkthat he barks every time they leave the house.They must switch him on ontheir way out.The neighbors' dog will not stop barking.I close all the windows in the houseand put on a Beethoven symphony full blastbut I can still hear him muffled under the music,barking, barking, barking,and now I can see him sitting in the orchestra,his head raised confidently as if Beethovenhad included a part for barking dog.When the record finally ends he is still barking,sitting there in the oboe section barking,his eyes fixed on the conductor who isentreating him with his batonwhile the other musicians listen in respectfulsilence to the famous barking dog solo,that endless coda that first establishedBeethoven as an innovative genius. “

Another Reason I Don’t Keep a Gun in the House


  • “You are the bread and the knife,The crystal goblet and the wine...-Jacques CrickillonYou are the bread and the knife,the crystal goblet and the wine.You are the dew on the morning grassand the burning wheel of the sun.You are the white apron of the baker,and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.However, you are not the wind in the orchard,the plums on the counter,or the house of cards.And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,but you are not even closeto being the field of cornflowers at dusk.And a quick look in the mirror will showthat you are neither the boots in the cornernor the boat asleep in its boathouse.It might interest you to know,speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,that I am the sound of rain on the roof.I also happen to be the shooting star,the evening paper blowing down an alleyand the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.I am also the moon in the treesand the blind woman's tea cup.But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife.You are still the bread and the knife.You will always be the bread and the knife,not to mention the crystal goblet and--somehow--the wine.”


Literary criticism

Literary Criticism

Some notable works

  • Pokerface (1977)

  • The Art of Drowning (1995)

  • Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes (2000)

  • The Trouble with Poetry, and Other Poems (2005)

  • She Was Just Seventeen (2008)

  • Horoscopes for the Dead (2011)

Some Notable Works