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When you get a poem [in a public place], it happens to you so suddenly that you don’t have time to deploy your anti-poetry deflector shields that were installed in high school.

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This quote from poet Billy Collins is about the benefits of getting poetry off the shelves and into public life — onto billboards, radio, cereal boxes, etc. Says Collins, when you encounter a poem in a public place, you don’t have time to resist it and as a result you are more likely to absorb it and gain something from it. The quote is from Collins’ 2012 TED Talk in which he shares several animated films that were made out of his poems.

Watch the full TED Talk here: Billy Collins  – Everyday Moments, Caught in Time

“Everyday Moments, Caught in Time.” TED2012. Feb. 2012. Conference Presentation.

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  • Chicago Manual Style (CMS):

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