Billy Collins

(22 March 1941 - / New York City)

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Introduction To Poetry


I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
........................
........................
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  • Ol Boy (7/11/2014 1:42:00 AM)

    Hive. maze, light. Shoulda ended on light.

    Waterskiing. With my pants down. First time I got up they went down.
    I stayed up for a time.5 minutes.
    5 minutes my little white 6th-grade penis dangling.12-person audiences.

    Yes, waterskiing. Hive, maze, light. Waterskiing.

    Interrogation scene moir perry mason.


    They begin beating it with a hose
    to find out what it really knows.

    is the last line REALLY. And it should be capitalized.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    It's about the poem being the poet.

    no more, no less. (Report) Reply

  • * Sunprincess * (6/22/2014 8:11:00 PM)

    ...........this sounds like me so long ago....I wanted to tie poems to a chair, interrogate them....and keep them locked in a room until they gave me the right answers.... (Report) Reply

  • K Ormosi (3/27/2013 7:46:00 AM)

    It’s Not Easy Being Poetry

    Yesterday, I spotted a poem through the window.
    darting across Main Street
    it narrowly escaped the embrace
    of two fervid lovers
    and panted feverishly
    as it ducked into my diner
    where the waitress dreamily
    poured a steaming cup
    of coffee
    right into its lap. (Report) Reply

  • Carlos Echeverria (9/5/2012 10:54:00 AM)

    A poem is always there
    waiting to be caught,
    right out of thin air.

    It can't be sought-
    after,
    and never, ever bought. (Report) Reply

  • Joe Antebi (11/15/2010 6:02:00 PM)

    Literally, Billy Collins informs his readers to read poetry for enjoyment instead of dissecting it and trying to figure out a deeper meaning. Ironically, as a reader, I am still trying to dissect his poem. I realized that the word 'poem' can be substituted with the word 'snake' which completely makes sense. Collins uses phrases such as 'I dropp a mouse into the poem' and ' I want them to waterski across the surface of the poem' which alludes to the characteristics of a snake. Does anybody agree? (Report) Reply

  • Bill Tirnier (11/6/2010 1:02:00 PM)

    Robert Frost once made similar comments about dissecting a poem. I heard them years ago on an old scratchy record where he was reading his poems at a college. It was wonderful to see similar thoughts put down in verse and to see two great poets voicing the same sentiments. (Report) Reply

  • Bob Beers (12/27/2008 4:07:00 PM)

    DEAR BILLY COLLINS

    Where’s the one
    where you crawl under skin
    pierce the bad man’s heart
    get dirty with the homeless
    save the world from annihilation?

    You waterski and wave,
    dropp a mouse and feel for a switch,
    press an ear and see the light.

    Superman, yes!
    Or is it Clark Kent?

    I see you working at the Planet
    reclined in your favorite chair
    more powerful than a locomotive.
    Feel you forming your next word,
    bending steal with bare hands.

    But, where’s the one that speaks
    of pain, of fear, of vice and sin?

    I want to be your neighbor on Lois Lane
    lined with elm trees and picket fence.

    Very truly yours, Bob Beers


    (Sorry, the system insists on placing an extra p in drop.) (Report) Reply

    Ol Boy (7/11/2014 1:46:00 AM)

    NICE.

  • Terrence Loth (10/2/2008 4:01:00 PM)

    Just discovered Billy Collins today! He himself holds up an idea like a multifaceted crystal and as it rotates he translates the light into such evocative and accessable poetry. Wonderful. (Report) Reply

  • Robert Howard (5/20/2008 10:22:00 PM)

    ...tie the poem to a chair with rope
    and torture a confession out of it.

    Literary analysis in a nutshell! (Report) Reply

  • James Morrison (10/23/2006 12:57:00 PM)

    this is by far one of the coolest poems i have ever read.
    other things i enjoy include;
    potatos and potato including treats.
    loud music and fishing. (Report) Reply

  • Brian Dorn (7/25/2006 9:59:00 AM)

    We'd like to think every poem has this profound, deep rooted meaning. We tend to analyze and analyze until we (in many cases) over analyze. Maybe the meanings are closer to the surface than we think? (Report) Reply

  • Raynette Eitel (4/18/2005 11:39:00 PM)

    This touches the heart of a true poem. How many poems could you hold up to the light like a color slide? There just has to be something mystical about the way poets string metaphors, rhythm and meter like pearls and hands to us mere mortals who don't know how to wear them properly. I love this one! (Report) Reply

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