Log in

No account? Create an account
Previous Entry Share Flag Next Entry
ours is not a caravan of despair
Poetry intimidates me -- which is precisely why I've been seeking it out recently.  Not because I think it's the mental equivalent of fiber, but because intellectually I know it's just another form of writing, and I want to get comfortable with it. 

I love writing and reading and words, marvelous words.   There's so much you can do with them.  Yes, this makes me an unabashed geek; there are much worse things to geek out over.   

I found the following poem at Poetry 180 - A poem a day for American high schools. We'll just gloss over the fact that I graduated high school in 1995.  *g*

Introduction to Poetry

Billy Collins

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.


  • 1
Oh my god, that’s both beautiful and darkly humourous all at the same time.

My favourite poem: I Do Not Love You by Pablo Neruda.

You and I graduated high school the same year. I used to write really crappy poetry before I started writing really crappy fanfiction. I have a book of Emily Dickinson and a book of W.H. Auden - my favorite poem of Auden's:

I loved my friend.
He went away from me.
The poem ends,
Soft as it began,
I loved my friend.

P.S. - LOVE that Chantal Kreviazuk song. ♥

I also found my most favorite poem of all time, which is one they used in the movie "4 weddings and a funeral." It's part I of Auden's "two songs for hedli anderson." John Hannah did a brilliant job reading it. Here's the link to youtube to hear/watch it:


Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crêpe bows round the white necks of the public
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Poetry intimidates me, too, but I took a class in college and used Billy Collins as my project. I think he's accessible and amazing. I hadn't read this particular poem before, so thanks for sharing.

I love that poem. The students have loved it too, when I've used it during our poetry unit.

I have a dislike for poetry. We did Elizabethan and Romantic poetry in my English class. Painful 4 months.

I wish I read this when I was in high school because it's very true. Poems, novels, you name it we would have to discuss them to death until you hated hearing the title. Thus sucking all enjoyment out of actually reading.

Very cool poem, love all the imagery-the end makes me laugh, but its so true too (we always seem to have to beat it up and go over it again and again analyzing it to try to find what it means in school).

Ah...Billy Collins... He's fabulous...

I love this one. I love the parsing and deconstructing of a poem vs. the beauty of just reading it and loving it.

  • 1