Another Poet Who Gives My Writing Inspiration and Purpose… (National Poetry Month Posts, Day 9)

For my next National Poetry Month post, I want to share another poet whom I idolize and give credit to greatly inspiring my writing…

Billy Collins

Here is one of his poems that is an absolute favorite of mine:

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
from The Apple that Astonished Paris, 1996
University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, Ark.

There is pure magic in the stanza:

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

Billy Collins is one of the most beloved American poets and was Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003.

Here are some links about him and his incredible body of work:

A website all about him.
His Wikipedia Entry.
His poets.org biography page.
A list of his poems at The Poetry Foundation.

<:o)

Jamy

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