On Turning Ten

Topics: Imaginary friend, Coming of age, Blue Pages: 3 (1004 words) Published: October 20, 2012
“On Turning Ten”

The poem on Turning Ten by Billy Collins, was written in 1996 and is about leaving the childhood behind and growing up. Having to mature and stop the own imagination. Turning a two digit number was presented very sad in the poem. Whereas still being a one (one digit number) was a lot easier, not caring about what other say, playing with the imaginary friend and playing in a tree house. But turning ten changes everything.

The poem is set up in one stanza where the lines are small, then big and then small again. There are 14 sentences and 32 lines, some of them are long, but others are very short so that the reader will think about these in particularly. There is no rhythm scheme, but there is a cadence which links the single lines. The tone of the poem is sad, due to the word choice which Collins chose “dark blue speed drained out of it” The color blue is a melancholic color which gives a feeling of sadness and drained is a very ruff and harsh word for a ten year old to use. Billy Collins audience is anyone who is willing to look back into their childhood. It is for people who want to remember their childhood and who lived through the same 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, lets the reader connect because many of the readers have had the same dreams and beliefs as children. Collins starts the poem with stating what he is feeling to let the audience be touched. He uses images like “reading in bad light” and “measles” which are things which happen during the childhood and mixes these with words which are developed and don’t really fit into this childhood theme. “a kind of measles of the spirit” or “a disfiguring chicken pox of the...
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