Literary Analysis Of Billy Collins Introduction To Poetry By Billy Collins

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When reading poetry or a novel, we tend to just read the words that are on the paper. This uses only one of our senses, our sight. Instead of using just this method to read and understand poetry, Billy Collins proposes other approaches. He wants readers to experience the poem, not just simply read it. Collins wants the reader to use more than one of their senses to understand the poem. Many times when reading, the reader tries to “torture” it to find the meaning, but Collins suggests readers should simply be patient and observant. Collins’s use of literary devices really helped introduce a new and different approach to reading poetry. In the poem “Introduction to Poetry” by Billy Collins, Collins is trying to show readers that poetry is …show more content…
To fully experience a poem Billy Collins believes that using the senses are a critical part. Stanza one says, “I ask them to take a poem / and hold it up to the light / like a color slide.” One sense he wants readers to use is sight. Collins compares the poem to a color slide, something that holds an image, but can also seem dark. It can be difficult to see the image without light. Therefore, when reading poetry Collins suggests that meanings can only be revealed over multiple readings with careful interpretation. In the second stanza, a poem is compared to “a hive.” He says we need to “press an ear against its hive.” In this stanza Collins is telling us to listen for the sounds of the poem, and what they convey (danger, excitement, sadness, etc.). The importance of words in poetry is represented by the hive that Collins wants us to press our ear against. Traditionally readers do not think to listen to the words and sound that the words make, but this is exactly what Collins is asking us to do. Another way to experience the poem is to place yourself in the poem and move through it. In the poem “Introduction to Poetry,” this is described as “placing a mouse into a …show more content…
In this poem, Collins mocks the way that readers try to extract the meaning of the poem. He relates it to a prisoner being captured and tortured. “But all they [the readers] want to do is tie the poem to a chair with rope and torture a confession out of it.” The word “torture” implies that the reader is going too deep to force a meaning. Collins suggests that the reader should go deep into the poem, but not go so deep that what is on the surface is abandoned. He advises when reading, no one should strain to find the meaning, but freely and serenely find it. Then it is important to take into account what is on the surface. In the end, Collins is arguing that the readers are trying to unearth what the poem is trying to say without really

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