Monday, July 13, 2009

Introduction to Poetry

Playing with light

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.

- Billy Collins -

5 comments:

Ruth said...

Heh, I love this poem. I've witnessed it in many classes.

I wish I knew how you did that photo, it's incredible. But I think I'd rather let it be magic.

Claudia said...

I love Billy Collins' wit.

The photo ingredients are afternoon light filtered through a transparent acrylic paperweight and some tricks of exposure, aperture and distortion :-)

Ruth said...

I thought it might be a paperweight. It's the tricks part that is "magic." :)

rauf said...

'who are you' is not a good question Claudia, why are you here is easily answerable. if i don't get an answer i smile and walk, sometimes i frown.
i give it a try, just one attempt, if i don't understand i give up. No torture or beating with a hose.

i haven't forgotten some remarks over the years. We visited our uncle in Coorg when i was five or six. i remember my uncle asking my mother why is he continuously staring at the paperweight. i remember the warm afternoon light.

Claudia said...

Yes rauf, some memories stick to us forever and you don't even get to choose them. The human mind is both the greatest wonder and the deadliest of threats. Puzzling. Not to be fully understood, ever.