Introduction to Poetry

Introduction to Poetry

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.  5I 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  10across 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.  15They begin beating it with a hose  to find out what it really means.

1. Which image in the poem do you think is the most effective? Is there an image that you think is not effective, that is confusing or awkward, or that you cannot understand?

2. Are the final two stanzas disturbing? Too disturbing? In their tone, are these stanzas similar to, or different from, the preceding stanzas?

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