“Introduction to Poetry” by Billy Collins
People are apt to learn new information, but it takes time, practice, and a good teacher, in order to do it correctly and to retain understanding. This poem shows the author’s (a teacher’s) frustration towards the elementary mistake that inexperienced readers or students make when poetry is first introduced. Unable to read the poem properly, they often do not capture a poem’s natural beauty and truth. The author says to observe a poem to see its true colors or its natural state (590; lines 1-5). He wants readers to search the “surface of the poem” to see a glimpse of the deeper side of the poem— to see its meaning and understand (lines 9-11). However, the author simply sees people rushing through the rhythm, the flow of the words, misunderstanding the lines (lines 6-9). The author wants readers to “feel” and experience that which is “inside the poem’s room” (590; lines 7). To be part or one with the poem is the key to finding understanding. Standing outside the room merely staring through a glass expecting the light to shine through (picture an interrogational room) will not allow for understanding. In doing this, “they” inadvertently and disgracefully “torture a confession out of it” —the poem (590; lines 12-14).
I relate to this poem. Mainly because I agree with the author’s argument that sometimes people get too aggressive in finding a quick and overly significant meaning to a poem. Because of this, readers often struggle to find the poem’s meaning. Thus, they distort it and misconstrue it, to find an understanding that supposedly is always hidden within the words’ natural meanings (finding what it really means) (590; lines 16). It is nice to see that someone else shares my dislike for over-analyzing the simple meaning of lucid words to find a deeper and more complex meaning than what is truly shown. Although, it sometimes can be fun finding symbolism (that sometimes may not even be there), I still agree with the author that in doing that, people are only torturing the poem for knowledge. Furthermore, I enjoyed reading it and for that reason, I had to choose it for this project!
With a Ph.D. in English, Billy Collins the poet —not the boxer— is considered both knowledgeable and a great poet. He was bestowed the honor of receiving the title of New York State Poet for the years 2004-2006. He has been presented with several other awards. He clearly is a successful poet who also wrote several books. If that is not enough, Collins also teaches poetry at several colleges, Lehman College being one.
“You’re Missing” by Bruce Springsteen
Readers can clearly visualize everything in its place, by the imagery given in the text. As the title entails, they also notice someone, possibly the father figure, is missing in the poem’s setting. The poem explains how all the objects around the house are neatly in its place, except that missing person, who is not where they are supposed to be —home. The point of...