This, from poet Sara Holbrook, who found some questions on a Texas achievement test, about poems she herself wrote, difficult to answer:
I have a tendency to get a little ranty about this subject, as I have always considered it risky business to teach a young person that it’s possible to know what someone else meant when they wrote something. It’s not that I don’t think it can be interesting or edifying to speculate about what someone might have meant, but to imagine that we can know without asking, or let anyone have the authority of knowing, yikes. Anyway, because I have the aforementioned ranty-ness tendency, I liked this characterization from Sara Holbrook. Big baloney sandwich. I found a triangular (lover of words and math that I am) drawing of one here to really drive the point home for myself.