I shall be telling this with a sigh

On Monday, I had a writing day with my writers’ group (well, some of them), and it felt so good to focus and get through a bunch of things I’d been stuck on. I even did a little editing to White Funeral, although I have to say I feel a teensy bit guilty whenever I take my writing time to do that. I guess because I never took White Funeral all that seriously until after it was finished, because I never thought it would turn out to be this well-recieved. So of course now what do I dream of? I dream of getting a novelette published… Why must I always go off the beaten path, eh?

“I took the one less traveled, and that has made all the difference…”
One day in the fall there was some discussion as to whether Frost meant that it was a good difference, as it is always interpreted. Maybe he meant it in a bad way, like if he had taken the one more traveled he would’ve had an easy life. Or maybe he meant it in a literal way. “Gee, wish I’da taken that there paved path, then I wouldn’ta got all lost in the woods ‘n stuff.” or maybe he just meant it made a difference and it wasn’t good, bad, or literal. It was just different.
OR maybe he had a secret evil plan… “I will write a poem full of ‘symbolism’ with a ‘vague’ tone, and an ending about a road less traveled, oooh, the teachers will like that. Then they will force the students to read my poem! Memorize it! Rip it apart and decode the symbolism! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!”
His poem may or may not be a coded message about taking over the Tri-State Area. 

It’s funny how poems always get interpreted in ways the writer never intended. Most of the time, I don’t care how other people interpret my poems because that’s what’s fun about reading poetry, you bring your own perspective and, like art, the poem takes on a different meaning for you than it does for the next person. And I love when people point out something about my writing that I never even noticed or thought of, but it fits so well or it’s such a cool concept! Because a lot of the time I just write whatever comes to mind and figure my subconcious probably knows where it’s going. That’s what it’s there for, right? So I’ve no idea as to the “meaning”. My poems are never written to be “taken” a certain way. (Unlike my emails. But that’s a different– and rather traumatic– story.) 

I think you can’t say to someone else, “read this, it’s about such-and-such”. Then they’re looking for things to fit the meaning, instead of looking for meanings to fit the words. It’s like science. You can’t look for facts to fit theories; it must be the other way round. Never read the comments before the piece. Never read a review before the book. Never read people’s interpretations of a song until you’ve heard the song clearly at least thrice.

Writing things with secret meanings is fun, though. Can I tell you a few secrets? Indeed, I never said anything for or against Bronach being Queen, so did I imply it? Or was it all a dream?
Hey, that kind of rhymed. Maybe I’ll make it into a poem…

“Was the story as it seemed?
Was Bronach the Queen?
Or was it all, as Poe once said,
but a dream within a dream?
And Frost, you can deem
to take the less-traveled road in your scene
and while you’re walking on it
I hope you fall into a ravine.”

Love,
Pen

PS: I am leaving for winter camp on the morrow… :)

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5 thoughts on “I shall be telling this with a sigh

  1. I had that happen with my poem “Fangs and Eyes.” I thought it was about Aslan and Edward of Twilight. But some of my friends thought it was about Edmund, or how the world woes us away from God (incidentally, the latter one was enjoyable. I thought it was very good.)

  2. Francis

    Alas! It will not be the same without you! The road not taken leads straightaway to songs of deadmen, floods, and tea. We shall think of you and give them your warmest regards…toodaloo!

  3. Sharron

    I always hated English classes because, IMHO, they destroyed everything beuatiful about stories and poems and what not by making us dissect them. Leave that to biology! I used to love Alice in Wonderland….

    As for asking people to read something with a disclaimer seems to me to force them to focus on one thing and perhaps they’ll entirely miss the ‘real’ meaning or beauty or whatever of the piece.

    When I send somethingout to be critiqued, I try to NOT put what I’d like focused on – because I want them to read it ‘fresh’ and not distorted with my own needs. Hopefully, I’ll get back comments that are of worth.

    Thanks for sharing!

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