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What makes poems special

After reading this poem book review in Bookbed of How to Make a Salagubang Helicopter & Other Poems’ by Jim Pascual Agustin.

I decided to post my view here (also posted as a comment in the original page) based on what the review wrote:

It’s always tricky to read poetry, more so to read it for the sake of reviewing it. There’s the concept of the author being dead—that once the last line is typed, the work now belongs to the reader, open to any kind of interpretation. And yet, an overthinker like me would worry, what if I misinterpret what the author intended to evoke?

I also write and read other poems but it never occurred to me before that some reader will actually worry about interpreting it wrong. Personally, what I like about poetry is the very reason it/they can be interpreted by readers in their own way, even if it’s outside the emotion of what the author intended.

What do you think?

13 Comments

  • Flor

    I am also a readers!!, i might get wrongly interpret what authors write.. but i rather choose to give them a kind words and help them get read ups, than interpreting their works Because authors will always be so tricky.. that’s the difference between readers and commenter.
    and i agree with you Jess.
    Authors intended is always out of the SCRIPT! and i think that’s always beautiful twist in writing.

    Have a wonderful day!! <3

    • Jessica

      Thanks, Flor. I’m not sure if I got you right when you said “authors will always be so tricky” but every author should be able to appreciate readers honest feedback. Good or bad. In fact, when it comes to my fictions I’d love to hear everything the reader thought about my writing, if possible. Because that’s one way to improve. For the poems, however, I personally think it’s fine to see it in different views.

      Have a great day too Flor!

  • Huguette

    I think that the poet shouldn’t worry when they write and publish what people might think or worry about the interpretation but also they shouldn’t be humiliated if people interpreted it wrong because only the author knows why he wrote these words and what they felt.
    At high school, we used to interpret what the poet wants to say and there’s always to seem one right interpretation according to the people who decided that it’s the right one, but I always wondered how they are so sure what the poet wanted to say, and they’re judging pur grades based on it.
    My point of view at least

  • Chiru

    It happens… being a reader we often get wrongly interpret what the write means…
    I read it twice to understand better.. after all poems deserves it..

  • NJ

    A poem is like art! it depends on the reader and their psyche how they interpret… A good poem has many shades… I’d say it even depends on the readers mood 😀

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