I love the poetry of Billy Collins so, I chose a funny and cynnical poem, for an outside of Norton choice. This one begins with, "Smokey the Bear heads into the autumn woods with a red can of gasoline and a box of wooden matches." This statement is funny for the ironic imagery Collins uses by placing the fictional flame-fighting bear with the proper equipment for starting a forest fire. The tone starts funny with this picture but with the next line, "his ranger's hat is cocked at a disturbing angle," this turns the tone to a more dark one because the idea that Smokey would actually start a fire becomes realistic. (Although the entire poem is fictional, smokey's intentions become clearer here). Collin's outlines Smokey's thoughts, "He is sick of dispensing warnings to the careless," his true feelings show with the description of "half-wit campers" and "dumbbell hikers." This playfully ironic poem boarders on reality by exposing Smokey's true annoyance for the many forest fires, started by idiotic people. "He is going to show them how a professional does it," this statement truly shows Smokey's bitterness and intentions of creating a fire for the desired effect of cruel irony.
I like this particular poem mostly because of the tone of irony and sarcasm that Collin's is known for. The imagery he creates with the descriptions of Smokey's, "brown fur gleaming in the sun" and "paws, the size of catcher's mitts" give the reality of Smokey the Bear being fed-up and literally going out to start a fire. Collin's light language, clearly sends the sarcastic message of retaliating against the idiotic people of the world, albit in a silly way.