A conversation with my poetry professor:

  • Robert: I just got off the phone with a man who thinks he's finally "unpeeled," or, as we know it, parsed, a Frank O'Hara poem.
  • Me: Unpeeled. Do you think poems should be unpeeled?
  • Robert: Oh, of course not! Poems shouldn't be unpeeled. They should be eaten whole, peel and all. They should cause indigestion and nausea and heartache. None of this business about trying to find out what the poet really "meant." It's what the poem does to you.
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