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Ways to Understand Poems

Billy Collins’ “Introduction to Poetry” is a short poem consisting of seven stanzas but is nonetheless a colorful piece of literary work that is filled with figurative language. Collins explores how poems in general suffer from the hands, in a manner of speaking, from those who attempt to study them, especially students. The narrator tries to guide the students about the proper way of unraveling the mysteries of poems. However, the students instead prefer to, in the words of Collins, “torture a confession out of it”. It suggests how poems lose their life when they are not properly studied like what happens to a precious vase when it is not handled well—it breaks into useless fragments, thereby losing its beauty….