Essay on Understanding Poetry: Billy Collins, Introduction to Poetry

1279 WordsMar 4, 20116 Pages
Understanding Poetry: Billy Collins, Introduction to Poetry Billy Collins uses dark rooms, oceans, hives, color slides and mouse mazes to describe his poem “Introduction to Poetry”, but also a way to analyze poetry in general. Growing up, students are advised by teachers how to analyze poetry. The speaker of Introduction to Poetry, Billy Collins, attempts to guide the readers by teaching them a unique and appropriate way to analyze poetry. The use of personification and imagery, by the author, gives the readers a new perspective to interpret and find the significance in poetry. In this particular poem, the speaker does not want the reader to listen to the teachers of the reader’s past, “tie the poem to a chair with rope and torture a…show more content…
The speaker wants the readers, who take up the roll of students of the poem, to envision poetry as a color slide. The speaker wishes the reader to understand that he cannot see the full detail of the slide if it is not held into light. When thinking of this in a metaphorical way, the speaker is asking the reader to examine poetry and see all of its beauty and self-interpreted meaning. Most readers tend to base their interpretation on methods they have been taught, but what the speaker wants the reader to do is to use their own mind to illuminate the poems meaning, much how you use you’re to eyes to decipher visual imagery. The sense motif continues into the next verse switching from visualization to hearing. The metaphor shifts from the reader’s eyes looking through a slide, to ears listening pressed up against a beehive. Just as the speaker is asking the reader to hold up a poem to the light, he is also asking them to press their ears against a beehive, and listen to the bee’s making the honey. The speaker wants readers to take something they perceive as white noise, and listen more intently to hear the true intricacies of poetry. Readers fail to realize that poetry can hold the sweetness of honey as well as clear colorful imagines as seen through a slide. In the third verse paragraph, the speaker is telling the reader to visualize a mouse being placed into

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