No Power Part 3 :Reading by Candlelight

Last week I decided to spend some time reading poetry. I was pleased when the books I had reserved at the library all arrived Thursday. Another way to make the time pass is to relish a table full of candles and a stack of poetry books.
I had some volumes by Billy Collins, Mary Oliver, Ted Kooser, and Neruda. Because of the shorter length of text, poetry is very soothing to read by candlelight. The only sound around the the purring of generators around the neighborhood as people attempted to keep freezers going. This was a favorite I read by candlelight Thursday night.

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.

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. Billy Collins

1 comment:

  1. I had thought about reading this poem at the retreat. If we'd been studying the reading of poetry, I would have. I read this poem to my students whenever we start studying poetry. My students are always relieved to find out they no longer have to beat poems with a hose to find out what they really mean. I'm relieved, too.


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