Thursday, March 27, 2014

Introduction to Poetry by Billy Collins

I plan to deviate from my normal monthly blog posts by focusing on poetry for the rest of March and all of April.  A couple of days ago, without any thought of doing this or that April is National Poetry Month,  I ordered severals books by Billy Collins.  A U.S. Poet Laureate from 2001 - 2003 and for NY State from 2004 - 2006, his poetry is witty, whimsical, thought-provoking and most important to me as a novice poetry reader: accessible.  Case in point - read below.

By Billy Collins
in Poetry 180: A Turning Back to Poetry
An anthology of contemporary poems selected by Billy Collins

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.