Dear Editor,

I thoroughly enjoyed coupling my initial reaction to poems with the q&a’s. The poets’ explanations of their work opens new dimensions to the reader, at least this reader: that is, the poets’ stated intentions, possible meaning(s), and other choices are thrown into the fray. I learned new ways to encounter the poem. It’s something like reading movie reviews. While my spouse likes to experience the movie without preconceived ideas and use her own judgment, I prefer to encounter and engage the opinions of reviewers. Similarly, the poets’ explanations may be likened to reading a director’s interview about a film. The reader is privy to an authorial perspective, but the work still exceeds it. This excess is the power and beauty of poetry.

Originally Published: June 1st, 2010
Appeared in Poetry Magazine This Appears In