Originally Posted by mrblanche
As an English/Journalism major and a former English teacher, I'm going to commit heresy here: I think, for the most part, that writers and poets just meant to write a good story or a captivating poem. Deep meanings are left to the analysts that come later.
For example, I don't think the white whale meant anything in Moby Dick.
When someone asked Robert Frost if the last line of "Stopping by Woods On a Winter Evening" referred to it being a long time before the rest of death, he said, "H*** no. It meant I was freezing my a** off and wanted to get home where it was warm."
Or, in the book "Les Carnets du Major Thompson," by Pierre Daninos, he talked about the habit of historians telling what the generals said to each other. His reply: "Les combatants font parler les canons. Les historiens font parler les combatants." (The warriors make the cannons speak; the historians make the warriors speak.)
In other words, take it all with a grain of salt.
However, I do like poetry, if you want some help.
Well said! I agree completely.
Whenever I write a story or poem, I am not analyzing it as I write it and I certainly don't intend it to be analyzed, or write it with some "deeper" or more complex meaning in mind. I imagine most other writers are the same way.
The cool thing about finding meanings in poetry (or song lyrics, which are really just poetry to music) is that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you find that a poem about a walk through the winter woods makes you think about being cold and wanting to get home and not about death, there is nothing wrong with that.
One of the things that always helped me the most when analyzing poetry was thinking of it as similar to listening to a song. I have a pretty deep connection to music, and I always sort of find deeper or different meanings and interpretations of the songs, so I sort of think of the poems like they were songs and it helps me.