Introduction to Poetry by Billy Collins

Introduction to Poetry
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.

Billy Collins

I discovered this amazing poem in Being Alive – the sequel to Staying Alive, both edited by Neil Astley.

If Carlsburg did poetry anthologies, these would probably be them. Possibly the best poetry anthologies in the world.

 

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About Drneevil

Blogger, podcaster, reader, knitter. Founder of Leeds Book Club; host of Culturally Fixated; co-host of Conversations with Geek People; tech support for Leeds Browncoats.

Posted on October 11, 2011, in All Posts, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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