“[…] But all they want to do […]”

“…But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it….”

Billy Collins in Introduction To Poetry, a poem about how to read poetry, give or take.

This poem really stands out to me because I am an English Major and I do try to over-analyse things more than just enjoying the ride they give us. The poem expresses that completely and perfectly without complicating things, and allowing us to see plain language giving a direct subject, theme, and answer.

This is what makes Billy Collins so special to me. He tries to use simple, expressive poetry that is clear. Some people try to criticizes him and say that he’s not writing poetry, but I think he’s one of the best poets out there because he’s so easy to access. He still has things that you can dig into as an analysis, but they’re things that answer his opinion already and allow you to just explore the topic for what it is. You don’t have to guess what topic the poem is on. Also he has really funny poems too, like “Introduction To Poetry” and “Reading An Anthology Of Chinese Poems Of The Sung Dynasty, I Pause To Admire The Length And Clarity Of Their Titles” which still have a deeper meaning, but they’re amusing.


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