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Yes, I see what you mean, Peter. I agree there is a
lot to experiencing the poem, just, experiencing also
includes thoughts (even though they might be foggy),
not only emotions. But it is true that sometimes
emotions lead us in our understanding of the poem. For
example, that was a reason why I couldn't accept CR's
interpretation completely - I feel that Prufrock
cannot be someone who is simply keeping away from lust
and judging others for being lustful. Maybe this point
can be put in words, but something else won't be so
explicitly expressible. That's why we are dealing here
with a poem, after all.
But that doesn't mean interpretations are senseless.
They help us to shed a new light on the very
experience of a poem, and if put in appropriate
language-form, they might sometimes hit the point
(with the same experience-feeling one might have when
reading them).

D.

--- Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> No. Not contra. Obviously your experience of the
> poem is different from
> mine,
> so your response to the poem is different from mine.
> I don't see a poem
> as some kind of marble block out of which has to be
> carved an essay.
> 
> I look for effects the artist tries to achieve, and
> for the responses to
> those effects.
> Those are sensory/emotional factors, not thoughts.
> Obviously the poem
> has VERY seductive sensory elements (mermaids?).
> Those elements have
> seduced readers into endless interpretations, none
> of which satisfy, leaving
> the seductory elements to draw them back again and
> again. If the poem has
> meaning it is a meanng which is FELT, not THOUGHT,
> with the immediacy of
> the odour of a rose. It seems to me, then that an
> appropriate response to
> such an experience is not a set of meanings, but
> another poetic
> construction.
> 
> We neither agree nor disagree.
> our approaches differ.
> 
> Cheers,
> Peter


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