MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Location: file:///C:/E7245EB9/IntroductiontoPoetry.htm Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii" Introduction to Poetry


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 again= st its hive.


I say drop a mouse in= to a poem

and watch him probe h= is way out,


or walk inside a poem= ’s room

And feel the walls fo= r a light switch.


I want them to waterski

‘across the sur= face of a poem

waving at the author&= #8217;s name on the shore.


But all they want to = do

is tie the poem to a = chair with a rope

and torture a confess= ion out of it.


They begin beating it= with a hose

to find out what it r= eally means.


Billy Collins

From The Apple that Astonished Paris

University of Arkansas Press 1988