On Reading Poetry : Act 2, 5-7

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5. People will tell you there are two kinds of poems: the “accessible poem” whose intent and meaning are easy to appreciate, and the “obscure poem” whose intent and meaning are difficult to appreciate. It’s up to you how hard you want to work.

6. If you don’t know a word, look it up or die.

7. A poem cannot be paraphrased. In fact, a poem’s greatest potential lies in the opposite of paraphrase: ambiguity. Ambiguity is at the center of what is it to be a human being. We really have no idea what’s going to happen from moment to moment, but we have to act as if we do.

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