On Turnin Ten by Billy Collins

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  • Topic: Writing
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  • Published : June 12, 2011
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The poem on Turning Ten by Billy Collins for me is about leaving childhood behind and understanding that one must eventually grow up. Its Realizing that one Has to mature and stop the never ending theme park designer that is a Childs imagination. Turning a two digit number was written as a very sad event in this poem. It became a sickness, sort of a Disease of the psyche. Whereas still being a one digit number was a lot easier, not caring about what others say, playing with the imaginary friend and exploring in a tree house, but turning ten changes everything and there is no going back. To me he is addressing an audience who is willing to look back into their childhood. It is for people who want to remember their early years and who lived through the same urban American childhood as Collins did. He lets the audience close into the poem by using imagery which reminds the reader of their own childhood. Such as the blue bike, the tree house, wanting to be a wizard or pirate, these are all memories from many childhoods. Giving examples of all of the different magical and heroic figures that he wanted to be, this lets the reader connect because many of them have had the same dreams and beliefs as children. 

The final paragraph, billy wrote that his character has finally come to the acceptance that there is no going back to his childhood. It seems to make the reader reflect on the previous events in their early years. It seems to prove that you don’t truly know what you have until its gone, which shows sort of a mature ironic tone. I felt this way because no child thinks this way, only one who has experienced these events and has had time to reflect upon them can feel this way. A child never thinks his imagination will leave him or expect that his toys will become mementos of his early years. Collins seems to be trying to say with this poem that it is hard leaving the childhood behind and starting to mature. However since he was not turning ten years old as he was...
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