Study Guide

Man Listening to Disc Power

By Billy Collins

Power

Reading this poem, we might think that the speaker took some sort of superpower elixir. That's because he feels like the "center of the universe" and the "hub of the cosmos" and the "only true point of view." But no, he hasn't ingested some crazy drug. So why is he feeling so powerful? It's the music that's making him feel this way. Even though the speaker isn't doing anything extraordinary in this poem, besides just walking around, he gives us a sense of how powerful he feels. This poem makes us realize that we don't have to be superman to feel like superman.

Questions About Power

  1. Why does music make the speaker feel so powerful in this poem?
  2. How does the speaker express the sense of his own power in the poem?
  3. How does the speaker relate to the pedestrians passing him on the street, and what does this say about his own sense of power?

Chew on This

The speaker of this poem isn't powerful at all. His power is a delusion.

Hold on just a minuteā€”our speaker is actually extremely powerful. As this poem shows us, he's the center of the universe.

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