Analysis of Introduction to Poetry & Reading Poetry
“Introduction to Poetry” by Billy Collins the theme that there is most focuses on is the experience getting out of reading a poem. When reading a poem readers tend to just read the poem and then come to a direct conclusion and assume that they understand the meaning, and not looking at it in a different way. This is not what Billy Collins wants “them” referring to his students to do. In the first stanzas it shows how “I” who is referred to himself wants “them” to experience the poem. The tone the author has changes throughout the poem. By looking at the first two words in the beginning of the first three stanzas, there is a clear change in tone. The change in tone shows that his temper is rising as the poem progresses. He starts off by “I ask them” which is polite, then in the next stanzas “I say” which is more direct and in the third stanzas “I want them to” which indicates that his mood and tone has changed. The way Billy Collins chooses to describe the experience with particular images. In the first stanza, “poem” is compared to “a color slide” that creates a strong imagery that readers have to squint their eyes to look at the slide clearly. In the second stanza, “poem” is compared to “a hive”, it might be difficult to fully understand a poem, but one can succeed even though it seems difficult. In the third and fourth stanza, Billy Collins compares “poem” to “a maze” and “a room in a house”, that indicates that the reader must feel lost and frustration. Yet, the last two stanzas show a harsh and different contrast to the previous stanzas. The tone and imagery has a negative kind of manner towards poetry, as he describes the way his students read and rush to a conclusion. The author describes “poem” as “a prisoner”, being tied to a chair and tortured with a hose. It adds a mocking, yet humorous tone to the whole poem, mocking at the incorrect attitudes of students towards poetry, hoping to alert the...
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