Here are the first five (5) “verses” to Billy Collins’ poem “Introduction to Poetry” (the words of the poem are in bold).
Each “verse” uses a metaphor to describe the experience of reading a poem.
- Choose one (1) of those metaphors and write your thoughts about it.
I have included two (2) writing prompts for each metaphor — please answer them both.
I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide
(How is poem like a colour slide? How is reading a poem like holding a slide up to a light?)
or press an ear against its hive.
(How is a poem like a hive? How is reading a poem like pressing your ear against a hive?)
I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,
(How is reading a poem like a maze? How is reading a poem like watching a mouse probe his way out of a maze?)
or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.
(How is a poem like a dark room? How is reading a poem like feeling around a dark room for a light switch?)
I want them to waterski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author’s name on the shore.
(How is a poem like water? How is reading a poem like waterskiing?)