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!



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.


-Billy Collins

5 comments:

Table of Stone said...

Thought you might like this. I found it yesterday and quite enjoyed it myself. But then again, I am a poem weirdo.

"Departure"
I watched you walk down
the accordian corridor
to the waiting plane

The rules of dating didn't specify
if I should watch the plane
disappear. I didn't.
I passed empty
blue and gray chairs,
and pilots with suitcases
rolling behind them

I stopped
at an arrival gate-
the crowd huddled around the steel door.
At my elbow,
red and white carnations switched
between the restless hands of a mother
her salt and pepper hair in stiff curls
as the walkway traveled out to the plane

My feet picked up again
and I wondered if,
in a month when you landed,
you'd pick me
out among a different crowd.

Enjoy!!

Owl of the Desert said...

Table of Stone, I like the poem. Very interesting. Simple, but thought provoking. :-) Who is the author?

Table of Stone said...

The author is Kia Powell (an auburn student..wink wink)

table of stone said...

Owl of the Desert, I want to be a blogger with you!!! How do I do it.

Elyow'eynay said...

Very interesting. Both poems. I like the poem by Billy Collins because it aggrivates me how people these days will all the time pick apart a poem to "decihper the REAL meaing". Instead of taking it for what it is. Same thing with pictures. Paintings. They can't accept the fact that maybe the painter just wanted to paint Yellow Daisys in a purple field. Maybe he..as other's i know...Love daisy's and think they are a happy flower. Instead the critics and so called art sophisticants(LOOK I MADE UP A WORD THAT I SPELLED WRONG!) like to pick apart the painting. What did the painter mean? What does the daisy's stand for.

Get a life. And a dozen Daisys.