Now, as I prepare to share with my students (future teachers) how to teach poetry and incorporate it into their English/ Language Arts classroom, I return to Collins and the idea behind his Poetry 180 project which, simply put, exposes students to a poem a day for the entire school year. Here is the poem he starts with, one of his own:
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.