What Did You Do With Your Idle Time
ENG 125 Introduction to Literature
Prof. Benjamin Mirov
November 5, 2012
Billy Collin’s poem, “You, Reader,” is a humor-filled narrative that catches the reader’s attention and illustrates how two strangers are interlaced with one another all while showing how idle time can be used productively. While reading the poem, it can also be noted that time and what you choose to do with it is a constant theme. The persona in this poem, who happens to be the speaker, expresses how he is linked to the reader. The main link between the ...view middle of the document...
This particular line sparked poignant feelings as it made me reflect about my own life and what I do during my idle time.
Still poking fun at the reader by mocking him or her, the writer mentions to “ go ahead, “bite your lip and tear out the page” (as cited in Clugston, 2010, section 12.1). Here he is insinuating that the reader did not take the initiative to do something with his or her spare time and that it is okay to moan and groan about it. The reader may even come to an epiphany at this point and think, why could I not have written a simple poem. That particular line made me react negatively towards the poet and his cocky attitude. Sure it was him who notices the “unlit candles” and it was I who decided to not do anything about it. This line offends me because it rubs the situation in my face. It makes one think that anyone could have taken the time on a rainy day to write a poem that is as simple as connecting the writer and the reader. It makes the reader feel like he or she was not smart enough to do so.
The “clock humming on the wall,” is a great example of personification and it makes it seem as if that particular clock is waiting for someone to step up and do something with their idle time. The reader can relate the assonance of a hum to that of a person in waiting. When one is bored and waiting one tends to hum as if they are waiting for something to happen. Sitting idle like the clock represents time being wasted. Again the writer makes it a point that he did something productive with his time and the reader did not. More importantly he demonstrates the relationship that has now begun between himself and the reader by using a metaphor; “… shakers of salt and pepper that were standing side by side on a place mat, I...