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 then 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 a rope
and torture a confession out of it.
They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Food for Thought
The beginning of a new era...my first blog. I thought I would start by offering you one of my favorite poems. It is titled "Introduction to Poetry" by Billy Collins, who I believe was U.S. poet laureate under President William Jefferson Clinton. I was first introduced to this poem by my English 103 teacher during my freshman year of college. (Ever since then I have had every good intention of picking up a copy of the book by Collins that contains this poem.) We were reading Pablo Neruda's Love Poems at the time. I was quite fascinated with Collins's precise description of what many of us often try to do to a poem when we read it: torture the meaning out of it. No details, just meaning. Collins tells his readers what they should do when reading a poem. Enjoy!