Read To Me — Day Three

Introduction to Poetry, 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.


Billy Collins is one of those rare breeds of artists — he is an intellectual poet with a sense of humor. His poems are quirky, thought provoking, and downright fun. A lot of my own work tends to lean toward the dark side; even so, I wish I could be Billy Collins when I grow up.

My contribution to APAD, Day 3 is Woe — a demonstration of my tendency to go dark. *shrugs* I don’t know… I really do like rainbows and pretty flowers. They just rarely make an appearance in my writing.

Back to Billy: When he made an appearance on Ted Talks, I just nearly swooned.

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