Wednesday, 23 December 2009

More Billy Collins

Laureate Carol Ann Duffy praises Billy Collins when she describes him as one of her favourite poets. I enjoy his take on life and his suggestions for how to go about reading poetry

Introduction to Poetry
I ask them to take a poem
and hold it 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
from 'The Apple that Astonished Paris'

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