by Michael Yost
I’ve been noticing lately that a few poets here and there have started to leave little notes or explanations at the end of their poems. I believe this helps the reader to better understand what they were going through when they wrote the poem. I find this helps when the poet has written a surreal or abstract piece.
I know that some would argue that our interpretation is the only real one and that the poet shouldn’t have to explain their intent; that it’s really up to us the reader to decide. There are also the poems that aren’t meant to be understood and finally there are the poets that are searching for the right combinations of words or a sentence that grabs the reader.
I’m sure there is a word for describing a poem that reads like a one way cell phone conversation but I don’t know it off hand. I was on the train this afternoon and there was this rather boisterous man that was describing in detail the results of some surgery he just had done. The topic really isn’t important, (unless you were there) but if you have to sit through a conversation at least have it on speaker phone.
I put the definition of opine at the bottom to make sure that the reader knows what I’m trying to say in case someone takes it personally.
So if you know your poem is being written for somebody other than yourself, you may want to ask yourself will the reader understand it, are you assuming too much of the reader, and finally does it matter or do you care?
Let’s define opine just as a verb: To form a judgment on grounds insufficient for positive proof; to hold an opinion, or to hold one’s opinion; to think, suppose.