IRLA: Introduction to Poetry

Posted on May 15, 2012. Filed under: IRLA Class | Tags: , |

In class today, we read the poem, “Introduction to Poetry” by Billy Collins.  We examined its figurative language, and as we tried to figure out what it meant – its irony.

Here is the video clip we also listened to with Billy Collins reading the poem himself.  Notice which words he places extra emphasis on and the pace at which he reads each stanza in the poem (particularly at the end).  Why do you think he reads it this way?

Now, it is your turn to write an “introduction” poem.  You can choose any topic you would like to be the subject of your poem.  Try to follow the same structure and intentions behind the Billy Collins poem when you write your own.

Here is one that I wrote called “Introduction to Travel.”

Introduction to Travel

by Melissa Morris
Inspired by the Billy Collins poem, “Introduction to Poetry”

I ask them to pack lightly
and carry all they take
on their backs

or not bring it at all.

I say take a map,
but don’t read it until you’re lost,

or have to help some other traveler
find their way.

I want them to explore
the world and let their trip unfold
waving at the history they meet and live.

But all they want to do
is buy souvenirs and check off major cities from their lists.

They begin losing the trip
before they even set out for it.

As always, feel free to join in and/or continue our conversation from class here in the comments on the blog.

~Ms. Morris

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