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Introduction To Poetry

Rating: 4.4

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

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

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Joe Antebi 15 November 2010

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?

46 50 Reply
Nurain Ali-balogun 08 October 2011

Nice poem; more than nice actually.

42 25 Reply
Bob Beers 27 December 2008

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.)

25 28 Reply
Carlos Echeverria 05 September 2012

A poem is always there waiting to be caught, right out of thin air. It can't be sought- after, and never, ever bought.

23 28 Reply
Sandra Andrew 03 June 2009

His poem was touching, makes you feel different ways about the poem.

21 28 Reply

I am a lecturer/professor (=lecturer in the roman countries is the same as professor title) bit a problem for me to go back to my students years, but this poem is very imaginable for persons who write poetry. Hilarious undertone, but.....of course excellent!

1 0 Reply
Larry Lynch 24 March 2021

I taught this poem in CompII. The reference to author's connedtion to reader was applied across other poems of distinction we studied. A wonderful teaching poem.

0 1 Reply
Captain Cur 11 February 2021

A brilliant write. I can relate to the torture part. Most of my poems are tortured. But they seem to like it. lol.

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Varsha M 11 February 2021

A magnificent journey as i imagined the mouse's nasty hasty move catching my attention unyil i was thrown off board to realise the truth of encaptivating meaning and torturous understanding domain. I have no words to admire the most beautiful work. Into my favourite.

0 0 Reply
Rose Marie Juan-austin 11 February 2021

A wonderful poem full of wit imbued with compelling imagery.

0 0 Reply