Wednesday 9 July 2008

How Not to Read a Poem

"... tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it


Quoted from
"Introduction to Poetry"
by Billy Collins
(The Apple that Astonished Paris, 1996
University of Arkansas Press)

Click here
to read the poem.


  1. Very interesting thoughts and the poem is probably right on.
    I like the solitary chair. Nice photo.
    In answer to your question, Yes all the "knick knacks" on the table were for sale.
    The Flea market was the best photo opportunity I have ever seen. I hope to go again next year.

  2. that's a great pair of lines, the best in the poem.

    There's a huge flea market every Saturday morning in downtown Vienna, but I never managed to get there. Seeing your pictures, I may try harder to do so. ;-)

    I agree, and they really hurt, doesn't they? ;-)

  4. Anonymous09 July, 2008

    very beautiful post

    I wish you a great summer

  5. Well, you never cease to fascinate :-)

  6. Stop crawling Maalie!

    You are right about torturing poetry. This is the main reason that I can't stand poetry 'readings'. I hate the soppy way it is read. Poetry is much better read silently to yourself.

    Thank you!
    My your summer be a very good one too. :-)

    Maybe I should write a fan letter to Billy Collins? ;-)

    Oh, I beg to differ!
    I would love being able to once more listen to Billy Collins read one of his poems. I hear his voice and intonation when I read in one of his poetry collections, and that makes all the difference. ;-)

    Here I have a poem for you:

    The Railway Train
    Emily Dickinson

    I like to see it lap the Miles—
    And lick the Valleys up—
    And stop to feed itself at Tanks—
    And then—prodigious step

    Around a Pile of Mountains—
    And supercilious peer
    In Shanties—by the sides of Roads—
    And then a Quarry pare

    To fit its Ribs
    And crawl between
    Complaining all the while
    In horrid—hooting stanza—
    Then chase itself down Hill—

    And neigh like Boanerges—
    Then—punctual as a Star
    Stop—docile and omnipotent
    At its own stable door—


  8. This is a very amusing thought....

  9. I immediately recognized the title of this blog-posting.
    Isn't Collins a gem?
    [I wonder if someday people will so immediately recognize snippets from my own poetry? Dream on, Cipriano! DREAM ON!]

  10. It was you who put me (a poemophobic), on to Billy Collins!
    And I loved this poem.
    And these particular words stuck with me.


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