Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM

Copy

Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.

DeleteCancel

Make your likes visible on Facebook?

Connect your Facebook account to Prezi and let your likes appear on your timeline.
You can change this under Settings & Account at any time.

No, thanks

Poetry Analysis- Billy Collins

No description
by

Casey Davis

on 21 March 2011

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of Poetry Analysis- Billy Collins

You know the parlor trick. Poetry Analysis Billy Collins Casey Davis
Sarah Dudley
Julia Guerrant "Embrace" "For Bartleby the Scrivener" Sources You know the parlor trick.
Wrap your arms around your own body
and from the back it looks like
someone is embracing you,
her hands grasping your shirt,
her fingernails teasing your neck.
From the front it is another story.
You never looked so alone,
Your crossed elbows and screwy grin.
You could be waiting for a tailor
to fit you with a straight jacket,
one that would hold you really tight.
("Embrace By Billy Collins.") "Embrace By Billy Collins." PoemHunter.com. PoemHunter.com, 13 Mar 2011. Web. 13 Mar 2011. Structural Analysis ("Embrace By Billy Collins.") "You" serves to grab the reader's attention. Because "You know" the trick, the reader immediately connects and is interested in the poem. "Wrap your arms around your own body" is a command. Collins uses strong (the command), but universal ("your own" instead of a something specific) language so that all readers can't help but become further involved in the poem. Wrap your arms around your own body Someone is embracing you, "Someone" keeps the image ambiguous so the reader’s imagination is forced to fill in the blanks. Again, this makes the poem personal. And from the back it looks like "Own" interferes with the rhythm of the poem. Its use is justified because "own" functions to connect the poem directly to the reader. Her hands grasping your shirt her fingernails teasing your neck. From the front it is another story. You never looked so alone, Your crossed elbows and screwy grin. You could be waiting for a Tailor To fit you with a straight jacket, One that would hold you really tight. This line serves to recapture the attention of those readers whose minds might have wondered a little too far after the last two lines These are the first lines that allow the readers mind to wonder. This bit of freedom gives the reader a chance to make the poem personal. Because "You" and "alone" are the first and last words. They are what the reader remembers most clearly. "Could" is not a strong word, but it is used because the "Parlor trick" has more than one meaning, and this "could" be one of them. Content Analysis The poem focuses on he false impression of the embrace (from the back), and a straightjacket’s true function (from the front).
Collins strikingly points out the internal loneliness that is masked by this and other immature jokes of intimacy.
The deception created when viewed from the back also suggests that our perceptions of people are often false, and the facades are used to hide the truth (the front).
The jokester appears as if he is being fitted for a straightjacket, a tool implemented in cases involving psychotic patients. Collins is pointing out the similarities between the mentally unstable and those whose loneliness drives them to joke of intimacy.
Collins seems to be implying that straight jackets hold people tighter than relationships do.
Because the straight jacket would hold you “really tight,” the companionship of another person becomes unneeded. "Every time we get a big gale around here
some people just refuse to batten down."

we estimate that

ice skating into a sixty
mile an hour wind, fully exerting
the legs and swinging arms

you will be pushed backward
an inch every twenty minutes.

in a few days, depending on
the size of the lake,
the backs of your skates
will touch land.

you will then fall on your ass
and be blown into the forest.

if you gather enough speed
by flapping your arms
and keeping your skates pointed

you will catch up to other
flying people who refused to batten down.
you will exchange knowing waves
as you ride the great wind north. "For Bartleby The Scrivener By Billy Collins." PoemHunter.com. PoemHunter.com, 14 Mar 2011. Web. 14 Mar 2011. ("For Bartleby The Scrivener by Billy Collins.") The last two lines creates imagery and the reader is able to picture the person's physical struggle against the wind. Here the narrator is very relatable to the reader, again creating vivid imagery Discussion: How would you interpret each of the poems? Smokey the Bear heads
into the autumn woods
with a red can of gasoline
and a box of wooden matches. His ranger's hat is cocked at a disturbing angle. His brown fur gleams under the high sun as his paws, the size of catcher's mitts, crackle into the distance. He is sick of dispensing warnings to the careless, the half-wit camper, the dumbbell hiker. He is going to show them how a professional does it. Content Analysis Collins seems to imply that all people are fighting pointlessly
Despite lack of progress, they continue to struggle
As they fight back, they discover that there are people with similar mindsets
Possibly alluding to the struggle of mankind against common enemies (time or age)
Refusal of people to accept or give in
Or more specifically:
The “big gale” represents change
Older generations resisting innovation and technology
The younger generation is removing and replacing the older people you will be pushed backward
an inch every twenty minutes. in a few days, depending on
the size of the lake,
the backs of your skates
will touch land. you will then fall on your ass
and be blown into the forest if you gather enough speed
by flapping your arms
and keeping your skates pointed you will catch up to other
flying people who refused to batten down.
you will exchange knowing waves
as you ride the great wind north. What's with the title? Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street is a story by Herman Melville The character Bartleby does not want to do the writing people want him to do This is an appropriate title for the poem because the people, like Bartleby in the story, refuse to do what is demanded of them "Bartleby, the Scrivener." Wikipedia.com. Wikipedia, 14 Mar 2011. Web. 15 Mar 2011. Structural Analysis ice skating into a sixty
mile an hour wind, fully exerting
the legs and swinging arms Collins does not capitalize the first letter of this line as well as some others that follow in the poem. This line establishes the factual, simple tone that overlays the entire poem. This couplet has quotation marks around it, making it appear as if it is a quote. It would seem as if some individual is annoyed or bothered by this fact. To "batten down" is not a real phrase, but is suspected to be synonymously used with back down or become battered down. "Every time we get a big gale around here
some people just refuse to batten down." we estimate that Activity "Child Development By Billy Collins." PoemHunter.com. PoemHunter.com, 15 Mar 2011. Web. 15 Mar 2011. 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. "Introduction to Poetry By Billy Collins." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, 15 Mar 2011. Web. 15 Mar 2011. "Introduction To Poetry" Tonight the moon is a cracker,
with a bite out of it
floating in the night,

and in a week or so
according to the calendar
it will probably look

like a silver football,
and nine, maybe ten days ago
it reminded me of a thin bright claw.

But eventually --
by the end of the month,
I reckon --

it will waste away
to nothing,
nothing but stars in the sky,

and I will have a few nights
to myself,
a little time to rest my jittery pen. "Invention by Billy Collins." PoemHunter.com. PoemHunter.com, 15 Mar 2011. Web. 15 Mar 2011. "Invention By Billy Collins" As sure as prehistoric fish grew legs
and sauntered off the beaches into forests
working up some irregular verbs for their
first conversation, so three-year-old children
enter the phase of name-calling.

Every day a new one arrives and is added
to the repertoire. You Dumb Goopyhead,
You Big Sewerface, You Poop-on-the-Floor
(a kind of Navaho ring to that one)
they yell from knee level, their little mugs
flushed with challenge.
Nothing Samuel Johnson would bother tossing out
in a pub, but then the toddlers are not trying
to devastate some fatuous Enlightenment hack.

They are just tormenting their fellow squirts
or going after the attention of the giants
way up there with their cocktails and bad breath
talking baritone nonsense to other giants,
waiting to call them names after thanking
them for the lovely party and hearing the door close.

The mature save their hothead invective
for things: an errant hammer, tire chains,
or receding trains missed by seconds,
though they know in their adult hearts,
even as they threaten to banish Timmy to bed
for his appalling behavior,
that their bosses are Big Fatty Stupids,
their wives are Dopey Dopeheads
and that they themselves are Mr. Sillypants. "Child Development By Billy Collins" In small groups, discuss your group's Collins’ poem. In your discussion, focus on the key elements of poetry, such as word choice, meter, rhyme scheme, imagery, metaphors, and other figurative language. How would you describe Collins’ writing style? What is your opinion of Collins’ writing style? Do you think Collins’ poems are effective? We will share with the class what we discussed in our groups. What is your opinion of Collins thus far? Lets Pause for a Discussion Questions "Introduction to Poetry" "Invention" "Child Development" Both the terms "twenty minutes" and "sixty mile an hour" further inforce the casual but scientific tone. This line also provides some comic relief to alleviate the hopeless situation Again, Collins inserts more comedy. The calm tone is still present, and is now also combined with an accepting one. Here, it is pointed out that one will fail. Do you think that Collins' metaphors and similes are effective in creating strong imagery? Why or why not? Notice the oddity of punctuation Collins uses. Why do you think he writes in this manner? Is his purpose achieved? What does writing or a pen have to do with the phases of the moon or the narrator? ("Bartleby, the Scrivener.") Biography Featured in Pushcart Prize anthology
Chosen for Annual Best American Poetry series
Chosen as “Literary Lion” for NY Public Library
1991- Questions about Angels - selected for the National Poetry Series
2001- Named U.S. Poet Laureate • Born in 1941 to parents who were both 39 years old: grew up as an only child in NYC
• Became attracted to poetry at a young age; he mainly wrote gothic poetry
• His father brought poetry magazines home to Collins
• Influenced by contemporary poets Karl Shapiro, Howard Nemerov, Reed Whittemore, and Wallace Stevens
• Mainly brought up in Catholic school systems: Attended College of the Holy Cross where he earned a BA
• Attended the University of California where he earned a Phd and MA
• Co-founded the Mid-Atlantic Review with Michael Shannon
• Taking off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes was first of Collins’ work to be published outside the U.S.
• 1987- The Best Cigarette Recording was released
• Collins’ poetry was included in anthologies, textbooks, and periodicals such as American Poetry Review and The New Yorker
• Attended fellowships from The New York Foundation for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, and The Guggenheim Foundation
• Professor of Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence, Lehman College, and City University of New York
• At the University of Galway, Collins has conducted poetry workshops in Ireland
Awards Introduction to Poetry Child Development Invention
Collins uses vivid imagery. Which lines convey the strongest image to you? Why?

What do you think is Collins’ purpose for writing this poem?

What is Collins saying about the interpretation of poetry?

In which lines do Collins’ humor come out?

Does this poem strike you as insightful? Does anything about this poem remind you of a recent project? General Discussion
How would you describe Collins' writing style?
What aspects of Collins' poems make them unique?
Do you like Collins? "Child Development" starts out by introducing the reader to a three-year-old child and ends with an adult. What message do you think Collins is trying to portray about the nature of people?

Relate the title to the poem. Do you feel like "Child Development" is a good title? If not, what title would you choose?

Name the writing techniques found in this poem. Do you feel Collins' writing techniques are effective for this poem. Why, or Why not? "A Brisk Walk." Guernica/A Magazine of Art & Politics. Guernica Magazine, Jun 2006. Web. 14 Mar 2011. "Flames By Billy Collins." PoemHunter.com. PoemHunter.com, n.d. Web. 15 Mar 2011. "Poetry In Conversation: An Eventing With Billy Collins." USC Libraries. University of Sourthern California, 2011. Web. 14 Mar 2011
Full transcript