I KNEW – knew beyond a shadow of a doubt – that I. Was. Going. To. DIE.
Introduction to Poetry
By Billy CollinsI ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slideor 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.