You’ve probably faced this dilemma: someone you know posts something on Facebook, and the human instinct is to first wonder if it might have something to do with you, especially if it is someone you know well or see regularly. This same feeling is extended to works of art. It’s a bit more difficult without simply asking the artist if an abstract sculpture pertains to their relationship with you, but writing can also be vague too, hiding behind pronouns and speaking in generalities about something the writer clearly feels strongly about.
I am of two minds about this as the artist. One, you could just ask me what I was thinking when I wrote something. Two, if you see yourself in something I wrote, then maybe subconsciously you are, and even if you weren’t I’m glad the piece struck some chord within you (even an angry chord is preferable to a “meh” reaction).
As the reader, I usually don’t ask my friend exactly what a certain Facebook post meant or demand exacting clarity of a poem. I live with the curiosity and doubt out of some combination of politeness and introversion. It seems a little rude to constantly pick people’s brains (otherwise assuredly I would be, since I am so curious and wanting to understand) so I’m left with a conundrum unless they themselves bring it up.
My friends have arrived for Friday night gaming, so I don’t have time for a poem today. That’s all for now.