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Fierce on The Page by Sage Cohen

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53

Ask Well and Ye Shall Receive

In one of my graduate school poetry workshops, ten students got into a heated debate about one student’s poem. (The rule in workshops is that the poet doesn’t explain herself. Instead she listens to her peers to discover how they are experiencing the poem.) As is often the case, every person in the room had their own interpretation of what was happening in this particular poem, the two most memorable being that the speaker was either having sex or that she was vomiting.

Such are the liabilities of subjectivity in art. We can count on the reader to take in our work through the lens of himself and to find, at best, some part of what we are offering mingled with what he is seeking.

After this workshop, I went home ...

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