poetry is in the eyes of the readers

I was honored when Lily of Serial Outlet posted her wonderful commentary in a Parallel Outlet post, reblogging my poem “sonnet in my bonnet“. It is a lovely take on what I had tried to keep terse and well pruned, because such a poem could have gone on and on in the writing of it. What I may be learning, is that brevity oftentimes gives more freedom each reader, and therein lay the beauty of poetry. I very much enjoy hearing and reading what others think of poems.

Lily wrote:

“I want to see this poem as a movie.”

I have, but only in my mind.

As a poem is coming to me, I often find myself drawing on many images which become woven together and trying to distill them down into words. If someone asks of a poem, “what is it about?”, I hesitate, not only because I had chosen to render it as a poem and might not have “normal” non-poetic words to describe it, but that the poem is about many things, not just one, and I may not know where to serialize it and begin to explain it. Yet there is something else that compels me to refrain from trying to explain my poems, and it is that just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I find that the interpretations and imagery that each reader gets may be greater, better, more multifaceted, and personal than my own limited views at one moment in time. My own views of my own poems, if I can call them my own just because I wrote or typed them from my mind, and of other people’s poems should not limit others enjoyment what is a dynamic form.

Is the essence of “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” the same nature of the quantum mechanical uncertainty principle, the observer effect, and orchestrated objective reduction (Orch-OR)? I wonder.

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About Brad Werner

Technical Evangelist
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