"With the question of the effect of a poem, the topic of investigation shifts from that of textual autonomy to textual reception - to the issue of what we actually look for or find in reading a poem"
- Thomas Harrison
About this Quote
This quote by Thomas Harrison suggests that when we think about the result of a poem, we move far from the idea of the poem being a self-governing text and instead concentrate on how it is gotten by the reader. Simply put, we look at what the reader removes from the poem, rather than what the poem remains in and of itself. This shift in focus highlights the importance of the reader in the interpretation of a poem, as it is the reader who ultimately identifies the impact of the poem. It also recommends that the reader's experience of a poem is shaped by their own expectations and preconceptions, which the poem's result is ultimately identified by the reader's individual interpretation.
"If the present Congress errs in too much talking, how can it be otherwise in a body to which the people send one hundred and fifty lawyers, whose trade it is to question everything, yield nothing, and talk by the hour?"