1.21.2011

billy collins

I'm getting ready to go back to my adjunct teaching gig on monday. it's the job I love the most and the one I wish I could do full-time. I don't really have to psych myself up much, but it doesn't hurt to go to my teacher zen place... 

Billy Collins, who, incidentally,  I think is handsome.


I fell in geeky-poetry love with Billy Collins when I started using some of his stuff during the poetry unit of the survey of literature class that I teach. I love his sarcasm/wit/dry humor. I use this poem as the title indicates... as an introduction to [talking about/reading] poetry.

Introduction to Poetry

by Billy Collins


I ask them to take a poem   
and hold it up to the light   
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem   
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem’s room   
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to waterski   
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope   
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose   
to find out what it really means

from The Apple that Astonished Paris

and just so you can get a feel for his humor (you know, the nerdy poetry kind...):

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