March 19/2014 – “Introduction to Poetry” by Billy Collins – STUDENT RESPOSNES

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?)