I Like This Poem

I like many poems, but this poem about poetry explains to me why many people just don’t get it.

Introduction to Poetry

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, from The Apple That Astonished Paris

2 thoughts on “I Like This Poem

    • If there’s nothing about the poem that I like or find interesting I don’t worry about it anymore. If there’s something I do like or that “strikes a chord” in me and I want to understand it more I try to find out something about the poet. Sometimes they tell you what it meant to them. The mystery of poetry is that sometimes you have a weird enjoyment of the words or a recognition of the word picture without understanding a meaning. Just my opinion.

Talk (write) to me.

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