Hughes and Frost, Six American Poets: Obscure meanings
As I mentioned on classmate Brenda's entry about this reading selection, I think poetry's obscurity is liberating because it gives readers the freedom to find their own meaning in its words.
I remember my creative writing course in high school, where poetry was merely an emotional outlet for most of us rather than a form of literature to be studied and delicately crafted; even when students obviously wrote it to express a particular meaning, there were always a few others who found a meaning completely different from the one the author had intended.
For instance, I wrote a poem with a lot of fairy-tale imagery and my teacher--completely riveted--asked me about all kinds of allusions in my work to both other famous works of poetry I'd never read and to other concepts I'd never even considered while writing. I packed a ton of meaning into my poem without even realizing it, and after I investigated further, I actually developed a better relationship to my own work after appreciating the connections I hadn't noticed before.
I haven't written poetry in a few months now, too busy working on other writing projects, but... I think I may give it a shot again sometime soon.