What is the Meaning of This?

15127334_950859871685292_796654141_o[Photo Courtesy of Mr. Ziebarth]
To converse with the greats
by trying their blindfolds on;
to correspond with books
by rewriting them;
to edit holy edicts,
and at the midnight hour
to talk with the clock by tapping a wall
in the solitary confinement of the universe.
-Vera Pavlova
My version:
To speak with the greats
by stepping into their shoes
to match with books
by rewriting them;
to edit holy orders,
and at midnight
to talk with the clock by tapping a wall
isolation of the universe.

This poem, despite its poetic structure, is full of startling paradoxes which serve as one long sentence fragment; it does not express a complete thought and therefore lacks cohesiveness.  The meaning of the poem is murky because the poem itself is never ‘finished.’  I find myself asking, “To converse with the greats…is what ?” The meaning remains obscure, because the incomplete idea is not centered around a fixed structure, in this case, a completed thought.

Upon further analysis, I’ve come to the conclusion that we should not ask this poem like means because it has no precise meaning, only a central topic. The key to understanding it lies in analyzing its diction, syntax, and form. To put it more simply, the well-crafted nature of the poem gives it weight, despite its lack of meaning.

Having read a large survey of poetry, especially last year in English class,  I’ve found that, although some poems do seem to, have some unified meaning, there are a large number that simply do not. They are topics, they are exposition, without statements, without culmination.  Trust me, I have tried to “decode” these poems (for participation points), an ill-advised endeavor, and I have tried to pinpoint the thought and meaning, but all I’ve gotten was a headache! At least this is my interpretation. English and poetry is subjective and, like modern art, can be interpreted in almost any way. If you are so inclined, feel free to try to decode these labyrinths of language – though, there is no guarantee your efforts will bear any fruit. Perhaps I will do some further investigation to find out: “What is the meaning of this?”


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