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Date d'inscription : 2007-10-20
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Introduction to Poetry [Poem analysis]

on Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:49 am
Introduction to Poetry
by 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.

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Date d'inscription : 2007-10-25
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Re: Introduction to Poetry [Poem analysis]

on Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:01 pm
Definition:

Probe: (v) To explore into unfamiliar matters or questionable activities; a penetrating inquiry.

Hose: (n) A flexible tube for conveying liquids or gases under pressure.
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Date d'inscription : 2007-11-17
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Re: Introduction to Poetry [Poem analysis]

on Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:09 pm
Explanation:

This guy here is totally pissed off because people don't know how to appreciate poem, they only try to understands the meaning. And so, he wrote a very easy poem to tell people how to really enjoy poetry (by dropping a mouse and by water-skiing).
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Date d'inscription : 2010-04-21
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Re: Introduction to Poetry [Poem analysis]

on Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:42 pm
Beating with a tube? You're sure about that? Suspect
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Date d'inscription : 2010-04-30
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Re: Introduction to Poetry [Poem analysis]

on Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:38 pm
here-is-my-username wrote:Beating with a tube? You're sure about that? Suspect
There exist a torture instrument that is called 'hose'. And basically, a hose is a sort tube that does not leave trace when it hit the prisoner. So, a hose is perfect for people to torture people without letting other people know. So, Shadow's definition is wrong.
In the case of the poem, people are torture the poem without leaving traces. So, they don't know that they are torturing it.
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Date d'inscription : 2007-11-17
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Re: Introduction to Poetry [Poem analysis]

on Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:58 pm
|absolute| wrote:There exist a torture instrument that is called 'hose'. And basically, a hose is a sort tube that does not leave trace when it hit the prisoner. So, a hose is perfect for people to torture people without letting other people know. So, Shadow's definition is wrong.
In the case of the poem, people are torture the poem without leaving traces. So, they don't know that they are torturing it.
Oh, we have an expert in torture here! See, Shadow? What you're lacking, is the practice of martial art. XD
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Date d'inscription : 2010-02-14
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Re: Introduction to Poetry [Poem analysis]

on Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:16 pm
Ideas

From the title of the poem, we can say that it's about a poetry course. Therefore, in the poem, the "I" is the teacher and the "them" are the students.

Stanza 1: A color slide is what photographers use to take a closer look at their shoot before printing the final version. Basically, to see the details, it needs to be exposed in front of light. In the case of this poem, the color slide = exposure -- closer examination -- seeing through (transparency).
Light = understanding/illumination -- brightness -- contrast (appreciate differences) -- shed light upon -- memory inspiration.

Stanza 2: Hive = bees working inside without being able to see it -- outside looks boring, inside contains honey (like the poem) -- humming/buzzing (the sounds of a poem) -- sensory appreciation/perspective -- the internal symmetry (intelligent design).

Stanza 3: Scientists use mouse to test things. Therefore, mouse = exploring, experimenting, trail & error. Scientist (the students) = hypothesis/procedure/observation/conclusion -- starting with their own idea -- pet theories v.s. other people's.

Stanza 4: Dark room = looking for something, blindness, moving to understand, feeling before seeing. Light switch = overwhelming, 'Eurika', open to sudden.idea/inspiration/possibility.

Stanza 5: Waterski = have fun/enjoy. Surface = stay on the surface (don't go too far from the literal meaning of the poem).

Stanza 6: Torture = frustration/anger/despair. Confession = confess what the students want to hear, not what is really going on.

Stanza 7: Beating = repetition (of what the students think is going on) [You know, after reading a poem, some people who didn't quite understand always says "I think it's about love/pain/friendship/etc.] Hose = the students don't know that they are torturing the poem.
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