Analysis of Introduction to Poetry & Reading Poetry

“Introduction to Poetry” by Billy Collins the theme that there is most focuses on is the experience getting out of reading a poem. When reading a poem readers tend to just read the poem and then come to a direct conclusion and assume that they understand the meaning, and not looking at it in a different way. This is not what Billy Collins wants “them” referring to his students to do. In the first stanzas it shows how “I” who is referred to himself wants “them” to experience the poem.

The tone the author has changes throughout the poem. By looking at the first two words in the beginning of the first three stanzas, there is a clear change in tone. The change in tone shows that his temper is rising as the poem progresses. He starts off by “I ask them” which is polite, then in the next stanzas “I say” which is more direct and in the third stanzas “I want them to” which indicates that his mood and tone has changed. The way Billy Collins chooses to describe the experience with particular images.

In the first stanza, “poem” is compared to “a color slide” that creates a strong imagery that readers have to squint their eyes to look at the slide clearly. In the second stanza, “poem” is compared to “a hive”, it might be difficult to fully understand a poem, but one can succeed even though it seems difficult. In the third and fourth stanza, Billy Collins compares “poem” to “a maze” and “a room in a house”, that indicates that the reader must feel lost and frustration. Yet, the last two stanzas show a harsh and different contrast to the previous stanzas.

The tone and imagery has a negative kind of manner towards poetry, as he describes the way his students read and rush to a conclusion. The author describes “poem” as “a prisoner”, being tied to a chair and tortured with a hose. It adds a mocking, yet humorous tone to the whole poem, mocking at the incorrect attitudes of students towards poetry, hoping to alert the readers at the same time. The poet’s choice of words gives dramatic imagery for the readers, In hope of changing the reading and interpretations of the poem. Reading Poetry” and “Introduction to Poetry” are bough similar in the way that they are describing poetry and the way they relate to how people do and should interpret poetry. “Reading Poetry” has more focus on how people see poetry for and against point of view. It tells the reader a lot about the history of poetry and the way poets write poems. The structure in “Reading Poetry” is very organized in the sense that the author starts off by writing about the ancient Greeks and Romans and works its way all the way down to how different people interpret a poem.

The two texts are very different when it comes to the contexts and lay out, but the author’s bought state the same opinion. They way to understand a poem is what they discuss the most, it is also a very important key element when reading a poem. Poets use their poems to express emotions and experiences; they then pass them on to the reader to give the reader a feeling of the author way of seeing things. Text 2 “Reading Poetry” goes into detail with trying to define poetry. This is a question that cannot be answered but is a personal opinion, just like art. Poems are a work of art, some like it others don’t. It’s a matter of taste.

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