Billy Collins

Topics: Poetry, Meaning of life, Alliteration Pages: 3 (1105 words) Published: February 15, 2011
\To Read without Being Lost
Human beings are almost always positive about knowing where they are in their life. But, they may never exactly know for certain where they maybe going or what their life will lead to. Billy Collins, the author of numerous poems including Introduction to Poetry and Schoolsville shows the aspects of this theory throughout his works. Collins provides enough details and description to let the reader know where they are when reading his poems, but not necessarily always where he is going with them. While most poets hide information or the fine points from us, Billy Collins does not. Instead, he indulges the reader with his clear topics, literary devices and precise imagery throughout the poems. In the poem, Introduction to Poetry, Collins chooses to use a personal experience of his own to form the topic. The poem describes him teaching to his students and telling them precisely how to write and find out the analytical meaning of a poem. Collins does this by telling his students to not express or say the underlying meaning in plain words. He suggests discovering the meaning of the words and phrases of the poem by “holding it up to the light like a color slide” (2-3). In a literal explanation, when a person holds a colored slide up to the light they see a great diversity of colors. Similarly, when looking at a poem differently, the poem conveys multiple important messages.

Poet, Billy Collins, uses various literary devices to create a purpose for the reader. The desire Billy Collins has for the reader is to illustrate the picture he is painting for them and to comprehend his style. For instance, metaphors in the Introduction to Poetry make it almost painless for the reader to understand what is in fact being said: “I want them to water-ski across the surface of a poem” (9-10). This metaphor clearly explains that Collins wants the reader to have words to ponder, but the poem should flow smooth for them like water skiing across calm...

Cited: Collins, Billy. Introduction to Poetry. 1988. Print.
Collins, Billy. Schoolsville. 1999. Print.
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