Riehlife April Poetry Month begins with “Introduction to Poetry,” by Billy Collins

My friend Stephanie Farrow, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is our Poetry Editor for April. She writes:

It’s April 1, which means it’s the first day of National Poetry Month—no fooling! Being a certified PL (Poetry Lover), I’m celebrating the occasion by selecting one poem to share every day this month. Some will be sad, some amusing. Some will engage the intellect,and others will create beautiful images. The common element in the poems will be that I happen to like them. 🙂

Introduction to Poetry
by Billy Collins
from The Apple that Astonished Paris

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 water ski
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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