Apr 132011
 

TRY YOUR HAND AT EXPLICATION*

by David B. Axelrod

*This method can be applied to any writing you wish to “interpret!”

Let’s start with any one line to get the feel of the discussion! Suppose our poem consisted of a single word:

Red.

How would you “interpret” the poem?

Try closing your eyes to picture “red.” Write what you pictured. Is that what the poem means?

Try writing down as quickly as you can every thing that comes into your mind after you write the word “red” on a piece of paper. Make the list as long as you can. Don’t hold back. Free associate! Which of the things you wrote comes closest to how you read the word/poem “Red?”

Go to the dictionary and look up the word “red.” Copy out the definition. (The Merriam Webster On-line Dictionary lists at http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/red lists “114 entries”! Which definition of “red” comes closest to the way you want the word/poem “Red” to be read?)

How does your definition and interpretation of “red” go with the following definition found in the Official (ISC)2 Guide to the CISSP CBK by Harold F. Tipton?

RED: [The] designation applied to information systems, and associated areas, circuits, components, and equipment in which national security information is being processed.”

What if someone said “red” meant “the enemy” as in “better dead than red?”

Clearly, words can have many meanings–an infinite variation of meanings if one considers the individual connotations we each bring to words! But do not despair. Reading a poem is just a matter of thinking about the words, noting what comes to mind, and weaving a “meaning” from what you think.

ARE YOU READY TO TRY EXPLICATING A SHORT POEM? CLICK HERE TO EXPLICATE!