Well, I’ll tell you something. The knot-headed notion that good poetry should have to be “interpreted” to be understood is haughty and foolish.
You’ll never hear a novelist or short-fiction writer say the reader must interpret their work in order to understand it. In fact, you’ve never heard Robert Frost or Howard Nemerov or any of the other major, accomplished poets say that.
It’s more of a modern phenomenon, proposed by people who believe there is such a thing as a poem without intentional line breaks. Apparently they aren’t aware that the line is the base unit of a poem just as the sentence is the base unit of a story or essay.
When a “poem” (genre) is written in “prose” (a mode of language), what the youngster has churned out is what’s fashionably called “free verse.” But I digress.
Those who evidently don’t have a clue what they’re doing shouldn’t compound their crime by insisting the fault for their illisible writing lies with the reader’s lack of desire to “interpret” it.
Put briefly, poets shouldn’t be so disdainful of readers. And true poets aren’t.
Only false poets, those who lay claim to the title but are unable to apply the craft, depend on such silly crutches. Well, they and the publish-or-perish university literature professors who profess that only they know what the poet “meant.”
It’s just silly. All of it. If poetry isn’t accessible on the surface, why should any reader hang around long enough to discover any deeper meanings?
To learn a bit more about yours truly back when I was labeled (by others) a “New Formalist,” see http://www.webexhibits.org/poetry/explore_classic_villanelle_make.html.
I’m fortunate that my poetry sold well for a number of years and has been nominated for several major awards, including the National Book Award in 2006.
If you would like to sample my poetry, click the Selected Poems cover below to download a PDF copy of that book. You may read it free and at your leisure with my blessing. Enjoy. All other covers lead to Amazon links.