Summary of “Introduction To Poetry” by Billy Collins

The idea that one can succeed in correctly interpreting a poem by facing the difficulties is put forward by comparing the poem to a hive. Like one has to take the risk in being contact with dangerous bee hives, similarly reading a poem demands a lot of attention to the detail. The meaning behind is that unfamiliarity that we come across when reading a poem is a part of the process only. The author has by different comparisons tried to re-emphasize that it is important to reflect upon the words in a poem to be able get the real meaning and a better sense of it.

A maze and a room in the house have been also used for a poem to reveal that it may at times be frustrating and confusing to read and interpret poem. A reader may feel uncertain about the meaning behind the words of the poem. Eventually the poet imagines the readers to be waterskiing on the poem, which portrays that readers are able to find fun and the inspiration in it.

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Poem’s personification as prisoner tied to a chair and being tortured is a mockery which is pointing to the incorrect outlook that students adopt towards interpreting a poem. The poet has attempted to aid the reader’s interpretations by alerting them not to draw an inference from the poem just out of influence. The poet feels that the readers often become stubborn towards making an interpretation when they do not find any meaning in the words which is not the right thing to do.

A reader must have the right enthusiasm and interest to study and read a poem before framing an interpretation of the words in it.

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