Introduction to Poetry

In honor of National Poetry Month, one of my favorite poets elucidates my quotidian academic experience.


Introduction to Poetry by Billy Collins

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.


Happy Poetry Month! And check out more fun poetry stuff from the Grande Dame of Verbiage, Ink.

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6 Responses to Introduction to Poetry

  1. Ink says:

    LOVE this poem! Awesome! We are two of a kind: I was going to post “Sonnet” by Collins today but had an, ahem, issue that I had to blog about instead. Unhappily…

  2. This is wonderful!!

    My current favorite – scroll down a bit – it’s called The Invitation and it is a glorious, perfect thing.

  3. evenshine says:

    Ink- Prufrock was tempting. I’ll check out your issue- it hasn’t appeared in my blog reader yet.

    Amy- loverly. I hadn’t read that one before!

  4. faemom says:

    That’s a great poem! Should we all be inspired to post our favorite poem?

  5. evenshine says:

    Fae- I’d love to hear some others. I’ll be posting all through this month, so feel free!

  6. Pingback: Horray for Poetry « Faemom

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