Explication Of Billy Collins Introduction To Poetry

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Billy Collins’ poem, “Introduction to Poetry” provides a coded guide to help beginning readers understand how to unlock the mysteries of poetry. The speaker urges readers to read critically with an emphasis on the poem’s structure, sound, and artistic merit, but cautions them against getting so caught up in the search for meaning that they forget to enjoy the poem. The speaker wants readers to “see” and “hear” what the poem is trying to convey. In stanzas one and two, the speaker describes what he asks of his readers when it comes to reading and evaluating poetry. He asks them to look at the poem “like a color slide,” and to “press an ear against its hive.” The use of both a simile and a metaphor, respectively, in the very beginning of Collins’ poem reveals that the speaker has a deep reverence and understanding of poetry that he also wants the readers to grasp. Poems usually have multiple parts to them, and the speaker is telling his readers that each part needs to be thoroughly evaluated in order for them to comprehend the different elements.…show more content…
Stanza four says, “I want them to waterski across the surface of a poem waving at the author’s name on the shore.” The speaker connotes for his readers to “waterski,” or have fun with the art of poetry. The readers should go with the flow of a poem and enjoy the smooth ride that comes with reading a poem. When the speaker mentions his readers “waving” to the author, he really means that the readers should have their own journey with the poem instead of just trying to figure out the author’s interpretation. Poetry is a form of art and storytelling, and the speaker believes that it should be treated as such in order to fully appreciate what the author brings to the

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