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Blinking with Fists: Poems

3.10  ·  Rating details ·  740 ratings  ·  73 reviews
The hit poetry collection from the creative force behind The Smashing Pumpkins

Having risen to fame during the grunge era in the early nineties, Billy Corgan is among the most respected figures of the alternative rock world—a visionary artist who, more than a decade later, still commands a devoted following. Long admired for his evocative songwriting, Corgan embarks on a de
Paperback, 96 pages
Published March 21st 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2004)
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Average rating 3.10  · 
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 ·  740 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Ross Blocher
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Billy Corgan is best known as the frontman of The Smashing Pumpkins, and we have all heard his poetry consciously or un. I submit:
Shakedown 1979, cool kids never have the time
On a live wire right up off the street
You and I should meet
June bug skipping like a stone
With the headlights pointed at the dawn
We were sure we'd never see an end to it all
(from 1979)

Or perhaps:
The world is a vampire, sent to drain
Secret destroyers, hold you up to the flames
And what do I get, for my pain?
Betrayed desires, a
Jul 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
I didn’t expect this to be good, but holy jemoses is it bad. On the back cover the blurb says that these poems “further solidify Corgan’s place as the voice of a generation.” I’m not sure anything sadder has ever been written—sad that someone would be dumb enough to make the claim, sadder still if it’s true. You could walk into a local junior high, steal a 7th grade girl’s notebook, and find better poetry under her little heart-dotted i’s.

A taste:

The indecision speaks volumes for all to hear
I c
Mar 27, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: The hardcore fanbase only.
Shelves: bookmarked
Not even the 10+ years I spent adoring Billy Corgan could save me from having a poor opinion of this book. It mostly reads like bad high school poetry that he wrote with a thesaurus next to his desk.
Ed Petersen
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
I had relatively high hopes for this collection. After all, I enjoy most of Corgan's music under the Smashing Pumpkins umbrella. However, reading this collection turned out to be a disappointing experience.

I never paid too much attention to Corgan's lyrics, mainly because his thin, whiny voice is difficult to comprehend, but also because the overall *sound* of the song is often more important than what he's actually trying to say. Take "Siva" or "I Am One" for instance--they sound phenomenal but
May 29, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: die hard fans
I have always had a hard time pinning a number or opinion to a poem by someone I don't know personally. Mr. Corgan is an amazing lyricist which is why I bought this book through the mail the instant it was available (and had a friend get it signed by Mr. Corgan himself). It is his amazing powers of speech that beckoned me to tear through the book three times end after end look for a whisper of that same voice in the words printed before me. I was disappointed to find myself so disappointed. I wa ...more
Sep 09, 2007 rated it did not like it
Didn't like it is probably the understatement of the decade. How about the fact that I could've burned it until I remembered that I could take it back to the bookstore and get a better book instead? Yes. Yes. ...more
I've never classed myself as a huge fan of the Smashing Pumpkins, but what does appeal to me most on the albums I own is their lyrics and sense of storytelling within the songs.

As such I was interested to see how Billy Corgan comes across on paper. And generally I think the answer is quite well.

There were times when he seemed a bit overblown, and a spirituality is evident throughout which didnt appeal to me that much.

But there are moments of striking skill with words and stunning and original i
Lisa Ziccardi
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
I could not even finish this book because reading it made me cringe and want to go ' Oh Billy' out loud to my self in a sad voice. I am a fan of his music both old and new, he does have talent there.But I honestly think that if he WASN'T Billy Corgan NO publisher would touch this book or give it a second thought. The poems did not rhyme, and sounded sophomoric and that they were the poorly put together thoughts of a angst ridden girl whose parents did not understand how deep and complicated she ...more
Dec 20, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What I dislike more then seascapes is lame poetry about seascapes and there are several references to seascapes and the sky and it kinda made me want to throw up a little. Corgan can do much better than this. He's a complete ass but the boy can write. Unfortunately, I didn't find that genius in this book.

The date of this book is 2004. I felt this was earlier for some reason. There are a few poems that were great but nothing that really blew my mind like some of his lyrics have done.
Steve Bal4
Oct 25, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book is so bad I can't even bring myself to put it on my READ list, the thought of it's memory tainting all the good (and bad) books I've previously read makes just me nauseous.

Tired, clichéd phrases like "dashed upon the rocks" and "quench my thirst" and "lost souls" should be banned from the English vocabulary at all costs and Corgan's poetry is packed with them. At a certain point I realized my face had become contorted by a subconscious disgust at what I was wading through.

I imagine thi
sammy shaq
Jul 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Bill Corgan, a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter, musician and more of the Smashing Pumpkins left me drier than a homeless man's yearning of a martini. This book was, within my estimations, the most terrible read of this year so far. I found one poem to nibble on; I found the rest to be comparable to the writing of high-school students, sophomoric, shallow, and weak. This isn't bad, it's just boring. The rhythm was good, the meter was alright, but a generational voice? Please. Give this boo ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry, male-author, 2018
Two stars is generous. I found this at Value Village and was unaware that Billy Corgan wrote poetry. And in a way, he doesn’t... cuz this was pretty bad. It lacked a coherent theme, I struggled to figure out what any of the poems were actually about, and the majority read as a string of random words that lacked any kind of flow. I’ve literally seen predictive text iPhone writing that makes more sense. I read this collection without looking at any reviews and once finished was unsurprised to see ...more
Melanie Wilson
Jul 31, 2008 rated it it was ok
I love Billy's work, I really do, but the poems in this collection are so disappointing, especially because they could've been so much better. A lot of great ideas, a lot of great sounds, a lot of great images, but the poems really need a good edit to make them stronger. In a poem everything needs to be tight because of brevity, and the weak parts really drag down the rest of the poem, over and over again.
I went to the poetry reading in Chicago, and one of these poems had a very powerful image,
Jan 27, 2011 rated it liked it
The poems collected here truly evoke images of the tortured artist. From myths to lost loves to American cities, the subjects flow as wide as thoughts in a brainstorming exercise. But each poem is meticulous in its words and each word creates a sense of wonder in the reader. Corgan is perhaps more known for his talents as singer and songwriter with the band, The Smashing Pumpkins, making the poems most similar to his lyrics rise to the top of the collection. Music seems to gush out of these glim ...more
Gene Wagendorf III
Sep 25, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Only for Pumpkins fan boys
Shelves: poetry
So, let me start by saying that I am a huge Smashing Pumpkins nerd. I've spent countless dollars and hours on just about everything Billy Corgan, no matter how obscure (or stupid) the project. I think the man is brilliant as a lyricist. When I heard he was working on a book of poetry, sure, I had a stiffy. Then I read the book and my dick went more limp than the prose.

Seriously, all I have to say is that if I wrote those poems they'd never be published. Outside of about two pieces, Corgan seems
Mar 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Hardcore fans that are always enthralled with Corgan's work
Recommended to Hanaa by: Some show on Vh1
Shelves: just-say-no, poetry
Let me just say, as many people have, that I am a huge Pumpkin's fan. Corgan is truly a great songwriter when he is in love or in pain. But what the hell was up with this book? 'Blinking with fists' ? Really? What does that mean?
Those were the exact questions I asked myself while I read this book. Expecting to be impressed and head-over-heels in love with this book, I have to say it fell short and it didn't give me the goosebumps I thought it would. I must say, he is an above and beyond talented
Jennifer Nedimyer
More widely known as the singer from The Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan's Blinking with Fists proves that his talent is not restricted to performance in vocals. This collection of lyrical poetry deals with a wide range of issues, from love to hate and back again--plus, of course, a nature poem or two to emphasis the healing power of the natural world. His carefully crafted insights into our world make him a must-read for aspiring poets or readers of poetry. It challenged me on my previous thoug ...more
Oct 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
Actually it's very disappointing. I had a lot of expectation when purchasing this book and it just didn't make as much of an impact, or any impact at all, to me as I foretold it to. I expected an imagination emphasis, but it didn't give me that emotion I feel when listening to Smashing Pumpkins. I don't believe reading this was a waste of time, it was just ok. It still entertained me, I just thought it would be much more than it is.

Not to mention poetry books are ridiculously expensive.

Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry, 2012-reads
I am as disappointed as everyone else. Love Corgan as a lyricist, but I think as a musician has tools of chord, rhythm and dissonance, so too does the learned poet. The words are there, but what about punctuation, spacing, etc, to tell the audience at what pace it is to be read, otherwise, like others said, it feels like a mess of amateur words.

I borrowed this back from a friend I gave it to as a gift, and am happy she never read it. She isn't a fan of poetry and this wouldn't have been the righ
Dec 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry-and-faves
Damn, does he have a way with lyrics and poetry. (I bet he knows it, too, which would explain why he's such a douchecanoe.)

Biased, yea; I like his style here, weirdness and all.

I should also add that here, Corgan is without the support of The Smashing Pumpkins. Without the music and other people buoying his words, you can conclude that something is lacking here.
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
it's imperfection gives me room to try, and then, who am i to say it's not perfect. he pushes the shape of himself into existence, and pushes and pushes. thank god for billy corgan; he gives me the courage to keep writing and this book, as are his songs, are a big part of my journey into sound. ...more
Jan 21, 2009 added it
I basically bought this book just so that I could meet Billy Corgan at a book signing. I was quite poor at the time, and man, poetry books are expensive. Worth it though.
Jul 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Beautiful poems by the rock god/legend himself...give complex yet touching insights into the man himself.
Jun 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
much better than the three and a half stars people have given it. if you don't understand billy corgan, we can't be buddies!! ...more
Khairil Anhar
Aug 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
You've disappointed me, Billy. ...more
Jason Pyper
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Most people who read this book are Smashing Pumpkins fans, or fans of poetric verse within the construct of music, not poetry fans. Myself included. I tried to consider that when reading reviews and while reading the poems themselves. In the end, despite a few attractive lines and verses, this is not an enjoyable book of poetry to read. If after reading a poem several times you still have no idea what the poem means or even how the words fit together, it is not a good poem. This book is a collec ...more
Christine Bode
Sep 20, 2020 rated it liked it
I found most of these poems by Billy Corgan to be difficult to relate to or even interpret, but there are a few interesting ones to be found within the pages of blinking with fists. I’n not really a fan of Smashing Pumpkins although I enjoyed some of their music back in the day, but I am not knowledgable enough about their lyrics to wax philosophical on the merit of Corgan’s words within these pages. I read many of these poems aloud to try and make sense of their meaning, emotion and fluidity, b ...more
emma summers
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
i love melon collie and the infinite sadness, and my mom has had this book for forever so i thought i’d read it to tack on a year-end read. unfortunately there were only three-ish poems that really stood out to me, and only a couple lines that struck me. i guess not all lyricists match themselves as poets (at least IMO). or maybe everything is lost on me after having read richard siken. idk. thanks for getting me closer to my reading goal tho🙏
Mikayla Ashton
Feb 09, 2021 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2021
There we’re a few poems I didn’t hate, but ultimately I will forget ever reading this by the end of the day. I feel I like Billy Corgan less now, I don’t know what I was expecting but I kind of wish I’d never read this now - Way too much talk of god and religion for me.
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poèmes
💫🌚💫I expected more from this!💫🌚💫
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William Patrick Corgan, Jr. is an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and occasional poet. Corgan is the vocalist and lead guitarist for alternative rock band The Smashing Pumpkins, who are known for their complex, layered style, and Corgan's distinctive vocals and guitar solos.[citation needed]

Music journalist Jim DeRogatis declared, "Of all the memorable artists and characters that the altern

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