Favorite Poems: “Introduction to Poetry”

Billy Collins is one of my favorite modern poets. I love his unique images and humor. Here’s his “Introduction to Poetry,” which is the first poem in the Library of Congress’s Poetry 180, started by Collins when he was Poet Laureate. This poem is always the first poem I post on my classroom wall as the “Poem of the Week.”

“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.

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Favorite Poems: “Introduction to Poetry”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s