It’s Only About This
Jonathan Carroll

On the other hand, you take the risk of teaching students that a poem means what it means to them. Our job is to show them how to read a poem with some tools for doing so and eliciting an understanding of the poet’s purpose. If a student feels that this truly is just a “love” song to some lover of Prufrock, we would be doing him/her a disservice to encourage or even permit that interpretation since the words do not justify it. I was a deconstructionist and found that to be the best way for the class to stay moored to the poet’s basic meaning. One of many possible approaches, of course.

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