Strangling poetry

I’ll be teaching a workshop at the Cuenca International Writers Conference at the end of May, titled Poetry as Story Telling.  I’ve been gathering bits and bobs to include in a Power Point presentation.

I came across this poem by Billy Collins, and although I won’t be using it for the workshop, it  made me smile.

Introduction to Poetry

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.

Billy Collins

 

4 thoughts on “Strangling poetry

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  1. This takes me back to those ‘Literature’ classes in my high school and college days.
    How true it is that poetry gets beaten down and pulled apart when sometime a poem just IS. Not every poem has secret meanings and shouls be analyzed to death. Sometimes a poem merely needs to felt. Let it just be lovely. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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