When we were told to read “She’s Not Me” without looking up the context, I thought that perhaps this poem was not what it appeared to be on the surface. Maybe it wasn’t about a woman who is bitter about another woman taking her man. I tried to guess as to what it could actually be about—basically, I was looking for the “hidden meaning.” Well I’m not that creative so I ended up with nothing and it turned out that it truly was a self-explanatory song.
I realize that I was overanalyzing something that held no deeper meaning. However, what if no one ever tried to read beneath the surface? For example, we discussed Moby Dick during our last class. The first time I read through Moby Dick, all it was to me was a story about an obsessed man hunting a white whale—not very meaningful. The second time around, with a lot of guidance from my English teacher—I realized I had missed the whole point of the story! If everyone who had read Moby Dick “back in the day” had been as oblivious as me, then it might not have been given the proper recognition as classic literature.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I agree with Brandi. I think the person reading has the power to decide whether or not something is considered poetry or literature.