Poetry Analysis of "Introduction to Poetry"

837 Words Apr 12th, 2013 4 Pages
Poetry analysis of ‘Introduction to Poetry’
The Poem “Introduction to Poetry” is by Billy Collins, an English poet, and it is about how teachers often force students to over-analyze poetry and to try decipher every possible meaning portrayed throughout the poem rather than allowing the students to form their own interpretation of the poem based on their own experiences.
Throughout the poem, a number of literary devices are used. For example: “or press an ear against its hive”. Using this metaphor, Billy Collins is comparing the body of a poem to the hive of a bee. The hive of a bee appears to be something dangerous and unknown, just like a new poem, never before seen, with which one is unfamiliar. Using this metaphor, Billy Collins is
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This is an effective metaphor as water-skiing brings about a great sense of joy and is fun, just as reading a poem – in Billy Collins’ opinion – should be.
The use of onomatopoeic devices and onomatopoeic words are abundant in this poem. For instance, “I say drop a mouse into a poem” is a line whereby the word “drop”, a very onomatopoeic word, effectively suggests that the reader of a poem must gently analyze a poem. This is portrayed through the gentle ‘p’ sound of the word and this is therefore effective as the reader gets a sense of the gentleness Billy Collins wishes his readers had when it comes to analyzing poetry.
The fact that enjambment is used throughout the poem such as in the lines, “like a colour slide or press an ear against its hive” portrays a lack of structure and therefore emphasizes the initial enjoyment one feels when reading a poem before the chore of analyzing it begins. This is also emphasized through the fact that the poem is a free verse poem.
The poem suddenly becomes much darker in the last stanza and a Billy Collins explains how teachers, students or general readers of poetry ‘torture’ a poem by being what he believes is cruelly analytical. He says, “all they want to do is tie the poem to a chair with rope and torture a confession out of it”. Here, the poem is being personified yet again and this brings about an almost human connection between the reader and the poem. This use of personification is effective as it makes the

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