I had the opportunity to be taught by a man who was well acquainted with many of the poets we were studying (noted, the South African poet community is small). He only referred to their biographies and their known intentions. It was fascinating to see how “wrong” I was.
However, I think you said it perfectly, there’s the poet’s truth, the reader’s truth and understanding is dancing somewhere in between. Another one of life’s crescendos of misunderstandings.
And thank you for writing this.