From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Introduction to Poetry

Introduction to Poetry

  

by Billy Collins

Analysis: Calling Card

A Life Observed

Collins' poems often take the form of close, witty observations of the world around him—things from his daily life and experience. In "Introduction to Poetry," Collins draws on his experience as a teacher and his interactions with his students.

When you read a Billy Collins poem, you might smile a knowing smile, nod sympathetically, laugh a little, or miss a good friend. What you won't do is spend much time with your dictionary or walk away from the poem with that all to familiar "poem" feeling of what just happened to me? Was that even in English?

Collins writes about things we know, common human experience, using language that feels casual, familiar, and conversational. He makes it all look pretty easy. But take Shmoop's word for it—it's not.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement