Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sometimes Interpreting the Bible Can Be Like This Too

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 water-ski
across the surface of a poem
waving ath 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.

--Billy Collins
The Apple that Astonished Paris

What are some scripture passages you (or others) have tried to torture a confession out of?


mompriest said...

love that poem and yes, it is easily connected to scripture...

Magdalene6127 said...

How WONDERFUL. I need to use it in a sermon!

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Oh, I love that poem. I love the image of tying it to a chair and beating a confession out of it. And it's so perceptive of you to link this to the Bible.

And you want to know what scripture I've treated that way? I was raised Baptist. Try all of them.

Barbara B. said...

Wonderful poem!!!
(And, I'm laughing about Ruth's comment)

desertfire2 said...

brilliant... thanks...

Paul said...

Most excellent! Thank you for sharing this with us all. It captures so much that we need to understand about poetry - and all literature - and the Bible.