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introduction-to-poetry-analysisIntroduction to Poetry is one of the famous poems by Billy Collins. In it, the author expresses his views on the interpretation of poetry. In addition, he shows the most common mistakes that people can make while studying poetry and literature, in general. This article will give several insights into this poem and show how it can be interpreted and analyzed.

Introduction to Poetry Analysis: Understanding a Work of Art

In his poem, Billy Collins attempts to demonstrate that there is no universal way of studying and understanding poetry. He shows how students and even professional critics can misinterpret and misunderstand. This is how Collins describes their efforts:
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.
(Billy Collins)
Overall, he stresses the idea that a poem is not a mathematical equation that can be easily solved by a single method. Such an approach to literature is utterly flawed because it completely overlooks the individuality of the author.

Introduction to Poetry Analysis: Analyzing Literature

Introductions to Poetry is a very interesting work because it shows how people can approach literary works. Here are some examples that you may consider:


  1. First, Billy Collins compares poems to paintings when he asks the readers to “take a poem and hold it up to the light like a color slide”. So, at first, he urges people to focus on visual images that a poem conjures.
  2. Moreover, the author asks readers to listen to the melody of a poem, when he says “press an ear against its hive”. Unfortunately, many people don’t read poetry aloud, and as a result they don’t fully understand it.
  3. When Billy Collins urges readers to “waterski across the surface of a poem”, he asks them to go beyond the limits of convention. So, if you have to do an Introduction to Poetry analysis, try to come up with various interpretations, even if they run contrary to popular opinion.
  4. Finally, an analysis of Introduction to Poetry should be based on the study of rhyme, meter, figurative language, and rhetoric.

Introduction to Poetry Analysis: Main Lessons

So, Introduction to Poetry is a very interesting poem. It is also a set of guidelines to how a person should analyze poetry; moreover, it also warns readers against possible pitfalls of studying poetry as some kind of data set. Hopefully, you won’t forget about Billy Collins’ recommendations when writing your papers.

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