Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Introduction To Poetry Analysis

In “Introduction to Poetry” by Billy Collins, Collins tries to explain that poetry is something more than words on paper and that really it is a great experience. Often readers will read the poem and assume they understand the meaning of that poem after one trial. In Collin’s viewpoint this is false. In the first line where “I” is referring to Billy Collins and “them” is referring to his readers.
            Throughout the poem Collins uses a series of metaphors to help the reader better understand how most readers treat a poem. In the first couple of lines he asks “them” to “take a poem and hold it up to the light like a color slide or press an ear against its hive.” What Collins is trying to say is no one will truly know the meaning of a poem until it is carefully read and reviewed over many times. He uses a colored slide as an example. You cannot completely see everything on a colored slide until it is held up against the light, just as you cannot understand the true meaning of a poem until you carefully review it. He goes on to say, “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.”  Collins successfully compares a “poem” to a maze and a dark room in a house. He reveals the feeling of being lost or frustrated through the thoughts of misunderstandings when reading a poem. In my opinion Collins does drive me to a conclusion that poems are hard to interpret until several frustrating attempts to understand it. In the third or fourth stanza Collins then explains that poems can also be exciting. He compares a poem as the enjoyment of waterskiing. Yet, in the last few lines Collins provides a sharp contrast, in terms of the amount of tone and imagery. He compares the poem to a person being tortured and being forced to confess. He believes that readers try to take their opinion of the poem and disregard the true meaning of it. What Collins is trying to do is remind and teach the readers to always be patient and open minded when reading a poem.
            In my conclusion Collins morale of the story is very significant. Rather than skimming through a poem with little understand of what it means all readers must get “inside” the poem to better understand it and then enjoy the rewards that come with the meaning. This idea is not applied to how most readers read today but I hope to see examples of them later in life. Foremost, it helps readers develop a more enhanced way to learn through memorization. Which can then be applied to other situations such as studying for a test. In the end we can better interpret how things work and then grow upon that, introducing more and better goals through vast learning experiences. 

Here is another critical essay of the work.

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