The Introduction to Poetry Billy Collins

Billy Collins has described analyzing poetry in a very pleasurable and unique way. In “Introduction to Poetry” by Author Billy Collins, the major theme brought out is that, poetry is something to be experienced. In addition, the identifiable speaker in this poem is Billy Collins “the teacher”; which seems very well educated in writing and analyzing poetry. This poem is written in stanza form with no regular rhyming scheme. Author Billy Collins informs his readers to read poetry for enjoyment instead of dissecting it, and trying to figure out a deeper meaning.

Collins advocates listening to the poem, enjoying the language, and finding pleasure rather profit. Mr. Collins wants his “students” to listen to the poem. Stanza two, “or press an ear against its hive” (line 4); this is the way he inform his students to listen to the sounds in the poem. Mr. Collins does not want his students to just look at words on paper, he wants them to have an imagination and really come in contact with the poem.

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He has turned the buzzing “hive” (4) into a metaphor for sound in poetry.

The different sounds in the poem can create energy, anticipation, and excitement. Listening is very important. The language usage in “Introduction to poetry” is presented in a very unique way. Collins wants his students to enjoy the language used in a poem. The speaker asks us to look at a poem in a very weird way. He does not use words like analyze, explicate, or summarize. He constantly uses metaphors; for example, “and hold it up to the light” (2) – simply means analyze.

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The language and wordplay in this poem is very exclusive.

He uses different metaphors and similes for poems: “color slide” (3), “a mouse” (5), “room” (7) was to illustrate that a poem is not a static entity, but rather that it is always different based on how the reader approaches it. “The teacher” is trying to teach his students to appreciate the language of a poem and not just complete an assignment. Find pleasure rather than profit my dear students! Mr. Collins wants the students to really find pleasure and experience the poem for what it is.

He wants the students to have fun with the poem and not “tie the poem to a chair with rope” (13) and “torture a confession out of it” (14). The idea that Collins is trying to convey is that there is no one right way to read a poem. The approach varies with the reader and a fresh approach always satisfies our understanding of a poem and helps us to “find out what it really means” (16). Enjoy the beauty of language used in this poem. Class is over, the bell has rung!

There is a lesson being taught in this poem, but it is not presented to us in a traditional, academic way. Collins wants the students to have fun with the poem and not “begin beating it with a hose” (15). This poem explains me well, I read and read poetry but if it doesn’t rhyme I don’t like it and can never seem to understand the meaning of it. This has taught me to slow-down, have fun with the poem, and not overly think it’s meaning and purpose. By the title of the poem, it brings my imagination to think of a college course class, Introduction to poetry 101.

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The Introduction to Poetry Billy Collins. (2016, Oct 21). Retrieved from

The Introduction to Poetry Billy Collins

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