April 25, 2016
As a college English major, I took plenty of literature courses. Short stories were read. Novels were pored over. Poetry was analyzed. In one class we dissected a poem, learning "exactly" what the writer from hundreds of years ago was saying. In a later course, I was delighted to revisit the same poem with a different instructor. Perfect, I thought, I already know just what the poem means. I quickly volunteered my vast knowledge and was told that I was absolutely wrong. "It means no such thing," the instructor adamantly declared.