I like it when people comment on poems. It’s a good way of not only encouraging the poet but also expressing your thoughts on the poem and improving your analytical and critical skills.
Then enter the comments on poems that are written by you but are not about you. That’s where the comments get interesting. Years ago when my former English teacher pointed out that the writer and the persona are not necessarily the same person, I kinda took that to heart. I internalize the situations I observe, think about, imagine or just stumble upon and put out the emotions they cause as if they were my own. Then come the comments …people sympathizing with ‘my’ situation’, people giving me advice on what to do about it and heartrending still are the people who send mail telling me how the poem is exactly what happened to them. I mean, seriously, how is one supposed to deal with such comments? Should you be like ….thank you for your sentiments but that poem really wasn’t about me?
What about you? Have you ever received such comments? Or have you ever unknowingly written such comments? How do you deal with it? I’d like to know.
Ps, this is totally what I have experienced and while some poems I write (about 10 percent) refer to my own experiences most of them do not.