Study Guide

Man Listening to Disc Dreams, Hopes and Plans

By Billy Collins

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Dreams, Hopes and Plans

"Man Listening to Disc" is a poem that reminds us just how important it is to enjoy the present moment. The speaker of the poem doesn't have any big hopes or plans. His only plan is to get downtown. That's pretty modest, isn't it? By highlighting how simple the speaker's ambitions are, the poem actually reminds us that, sometimes, the best plans are the simple plans.

Questions About Dreams, Hopes and Plans

  1. In what ways is the speaker's declaration at the end of the poem—that he hopes that he will make it "all the way downtown"—ironic, especially considering that he's just described himself as the "hub of the cosmos"?
  2. What do the speaker's simple hopes and plans in this poem suggest about the importance of living in the present?
  3. What does the poem suggest about the relationship between happiness and dreams, hopes and plans?

Chew on This

The speaker is proof that simple plans are as important as big plans.

The speaker of this poem actually doesn't have any dreams, hopes and plans. Sorry gang, but getting downtown isn't a plan.

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