Summary Works of art, particularly poetry, have long been exhibited to the public for judgment and participation in the examination of the subject matter the artist is exploring, however, the intention of the piece, long thought to be under the thumb Of the poet, has recently come under scrutiny. Intention is the mainstay of critiques: what were the thoughts that provoked a work, and why did the poet feel compelled to write such work? Yet, the intention of poems re highly investigated, but highly misunderstood, due to the education and prior knowledge of the reader. … A kind of commonplace to suppose that we do not know what a poet means unless we have traced him in his reading… ” Even when poet feel obligated to explain their works in annotations, their own elucidations elicit questions and inclusion into the piece itself, and judged on the merit of the information given. With poetry being organic in nature, even the explanations poets offer are blemished, tainted with the intention they had in mind, yet filled with the intention the public owns. “Intention is design of plan in the author’s mind. The true intention of a work is to convey a message to the reader, whatever message it is that s/he intends on seeing within the words on the page. Interpretation Intention is folded, tucked into the words of a poem, and left for the reader to discover. Yet this essay makes me question all intentions, even my own works. Do I truly know and understand why I chose the words do, or the situations I put my characters into? Should I explain to the reader, or let them decipher the motives and symbolic measures taken for themselves?

It would seem within the scope of the essay that criticism is only worth the paper it is written on, because any and all criticism is going to be biased, based on the critic’s history. This bias is what will keep a criticism separate from the general public, because one man’s opinion is not the same as the next, and so forth, which therefore lends itself to the demise of criticism. Nonetheless, critiques also allow readers to see the folds of the works they may not have made, ethers to other works or histories that they are unfamiliar with.

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As a tool, intentions can heighten the education of the reader, particularly if it explores areas undiscovered by the reader. As a means of judgment, intention can be seen as an abyss, leading different readers to different places. It intrigues me to know what my true intentions are in my works, including this one. Am I writing to satisfy a project, or am I writing to discover more about myself? Maybe both. Maybe neither. Hard to say. I have to let the critics decide.

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