Poetry analysis of ‘Introduction to Poetry’
The Poem “Introduction to Poetry” is by Billy Collins, an English poet, and it is about how teachers often force students to over-analyze poetry and to try decipher every possible meaning portrayed throughout the poem rather than allowing the students to form their own interpretation of the poem based on their own experiences. Throughout the poem, a number of literary devices are used. For example: “or press an ear against its hive”. Using this metaphor, Billy Collins is comparing the body of a poem to the hive of a bee. The hive of a bee appears to be something dangerous and unknown, just like a new poem, never before seen, with which one is unfamiliar. Using this metaphor, Billy Collins is suggesting that one should get an energy of the poem by reading it just as one would get a sense of energy by pressing one’s ear to a hive of a bee. The nature of a bee is particularly busy and bees are creatures that seem to be constantly on the go. In this way, Billy Collins is suggesting that whilst the reader is digesting the poem, he or she should constantly be ‘feeling’ the poem and be busily analyzing it. By comparing the poem to a hive, he is also saying that, like a hive, a poem is full of intense life. The characteristics shared by both the two metaphoric images are very similar, thus, it is an effective comparison. The poem is effectively personified once again through the lines: “or walk inside a poem’s room”. Here, Billy Collins suggests that the poem’s room, in other word, its body or what the poem contains, like a room of a person, defines the poem. One can learn a lot about another by viewing his or her room. Like a room too, which is private and should not be invaded, one should not invade a poem in the sense that one should not analyze it too heavily. Another effective metaphor, “I want them to water-ski across the surface of the poem” is used in this poem. Billy Collins is comparing water-skiing across the...
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