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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 13. October 4, 1951


No person agrees with another over the way in which a particular poem should read. A poem in a materialisation of the poet's personality and so can be fully understood only by its author; a person's understanding and interpretation of a poem differs considerably from that of anotbers—these things place challenging obstacles in the way of the poetry-reader who wants to get the poem across. Most poems demand intensive study before they are able to be read aloud intelligently—study that should enable the reader to have the fullest understanding, both of the poem and of the demands it will make upon his capacity for intelligent reading.

Certainly no reader should attempt to put across a poem of which he has but a cursory understanding. It is not good enough for some of our young poets to come up to Vic. to read poetry just because they are poets. They must prove themselves capable both of preparing and selecting suitable material for reading, and of using what technical ability they possess to put the poetry across. Suitable poetry—not necessarily simple, but not the involutions of Eliot or Thomas.