Re: Introduction to Poetry

Re:  Introduction to Poetry

[A real teacher’s reaction to Billy Collins, “Introduction to Poetry” from The Apple that Astonished Paris. University of Arkansas Press, 1988.]

The irony

of poets teaching

teachers to teach


“Do not tie the poem down

in your literary torture chairs,

nor beat you students

into submissive boredom

with critical whips

of analytical nonsense”

Quoth he who

in his poetical pupilhood

learned his craft

by committing to memory

the difference betwixt

synecdoche and metonymy!

Yes, let’s do let

our students sail free

on the waves of poetry,

but give them the charts

to navigate the seas

of Calliope’s arts.