We at Portrait have loved this poem-posting-project, and we hope it’s helped us all stop reaching for the hose when presented with verse.
Introduction to Poetry
by Billy Collins
from Sailing Around the Room: New and Selected Poems
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.
2 responses to “One Poem at a Time -30-”
I do love Billy Collins.
This poem “Introduction to Poetry” was very liberating for me. I’m always one to try to get a confession out of a poem. Now I’m putting away my hose and relaxing. Why didn’t you post this at the beginning of the month? It would have saved me and the poems I read from being hog tied.