On Turning Ten by Billy Collins

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Aging This poem, for me, was a reminder that it is inevitable that you’re going to age and it happens fast. In the poem, “On Turning Ten” by Billy Collins he writes from a 10 year olds perspective about turning a double digit. I connected with the poem because it made me reminisce on my childhood, especially in the second stanza, when Collins writes: At four I was an Arabian wizard. I could make myself invisible by drinking a glass of milk a certain way. At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince. (13-16) I like how Collins uses these metaphors to show a child’s progression in life. Starting out at age one and progressing to age 10 in that stanza, I think it sets a more playful tone for the rest of the poem since the first stanza had a more dreaded tone about the thoughts of growing old. In my opinion, I felt as if the whole poem was a metaphor for aging or life. Although, Collins had many specific metaphors that he used to get his message across. In the first stanza he gives you the sense that aging is a bad thing by using metaphors like: “a kind of measles of the spirit,/ a mumps of the psyche,/a disfiguring chickenpox of the soul” (5-7). It seems kind of ironic that he is supposed to be writing from a 10 year olds perspective because these metaphors seem much more mature than a 10 year olds mind. I don’t think a young boy could describe his “psyche” and especially not compare it to said ailments that Collins uses. But I like that Collins wrote it like that because it makes you connect as an adult with all his irony in his delivery of the poem. Yet, it’s easy enough to understand that a young kid reading it would be able to connect to the poem as well. Collins uses simple language throughout his poem to give the reader the idea that it is in the mind of a young boy aging. By using this sort of diction he creates a connection, for me, that makes me

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