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Kathleen M.

Among this poet's many virtues, he knows all too well how serious humor can be, which may be why he writes, as Emily Dickinson advised, "slant."

blue girl

Emily Dickinson advised, "slant."

What does that mean, Kathleen? I like the idea of looking at something sideways to better understand it. Is that what that means?

Kathleen M.

Supposedly, Emily Dickinson said to tell the truth but "tell it slant."
The line reminded me of Billy Collins because he's always wry.

Since you're often interested in writers' special techniques, I'm going whole hog here and quoting a bit from Collins' poem, "Purity," published in Questions about Angels

My favorite time to write is in the late afternoon/
weekdays, particularly Wednesdays/
This is how I go about it:
I take a fresh pot of tea into my study and close the door./
Then I remove my cloths and leave them in a pile/
....

Then I remove my flesh and hang it over a chair./
I slide it off my bones like a silken garment.
I do this so that what I write will be pure,/
....

Finally I remove my organs and arrange them/
on a small table near the window./
I do not want to hear their ancient rhythms/
when I am trying to tap out my own drumbeat./

...

I should mention that sometimes I leave my penis on./
I find it difficult to ignore the temptation./
....

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