Introduction to Poetry by Billy Collins

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(photo by RGaylor)

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.

or walk inside the poem’s room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

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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