Introduction to Literature

They gave me a story to read
and told me to tell them what
the true meaning was

as if there were only one meaning .

Lost in the words of a time of the past
I felt their harsh, oppressing stares.

Without their presence I would
savor the words like a sweet dream.

If only they could let go
of the idea that there must be
only one way to read the words he wrote.

But all they want to do
is determine the meaning no matter
what they will destroy with their disrespect.

They would rather it be black and white instead
to fit within their rigid world.


This poem was written as a creative respone to Billy Collins's "Introduction to Poetry".