The audience demands: Leave it to my imagination!

You write a poem or a short story, etc. And you record yourself reading it and you decide to share it with others. That is wonderful and very kind of you. But why do you spoil the moment for me by trying to explain the meaning of your poem when I haven’t even asked for your help? Why can’t you leave your work to my imagination? Why are you forcing me to look at your poem only the way you want it? Once you have written your piece, and exposed it to the public, leave it to our imagination! Let me consume it first, let me feel it, let me interpret it in my own way; I have that freedom, as much as you have the freedom to write and share it with me. If I need your interpretation of your own work, I may ask you what you meant by this or by that, what your poem symbolizes, etc. It is an insult to my imagination when you start to lecture me about the moral of your poem or short story; can’t you trust my imagination that it can figure out the moral of your story or poem without your unneeded help?

I do not know about other people, but I find it very irritating when some people spoil a good moment; and the sad part is that they are not aware they are spoiling it.

Where did the above frustration come from? Who are you addressing it to? You may ask. That is actually a pent-up emotion that I had for some time, and it exploded yesterday when a friend of mine recommended that I listen to this poem.

The poem is good. It is about two lovers: a woman who is blind and a man that can see. The man madly falls in love with the woman and he decides to marry her regardless of her blindness. But the woman insists that she can only marry him if she can see him. Then the man takes her to a hospital, and pays a heavy price so she can see. Miracle, she gets her eyes back! She can see now. She can see him. She can see the world. She can see other, more handsome men, too.

Now that she can see, he asks her again if she wants to marry him. But she rejects his proposal for the second time, and this time because she discovers he is also blind. However, here is the trick: she does not know that the man actually donated his eyes to the hospital so she can see—that her current eyes in fact used to be his. She finds out this truth from a letter that her lover left behind as he ran away out of her life, dejected and heartbroken. In the letter, he reminds her that she should never forget that if he had not donated his eyes she would have remained blind forever, and he did that because he loved her; he also lets her know he ran away for her happiness; he laments, too, that it is unfortunate she could not recognize the sacrifice he made for her love and failed to see beyond his outward appearance. That is what the poem is all about in a nutshell.

But the writer of the poem really pissed me off. I had no problem with the fact that he gave the background to the poem in the beginning. But my frustration came after he finished reading and started giving his analysis of his own poem, from a religious perspective. WTF! Why spoil the poem, and irritate your listeners by lecturing them about Jesus and all that stuff? Have you considered the possibility that your audience could come from different religious backgrounds and so have you thought your one-sided interpretation of your own work could offend them or could limit their imagination? In addition, the way he analyzed the poem was quite judgmental of the woman; it was as if he was asking me to condemn her for not loving the man who took his eyes out for her … unfortunately, no I do not condemn her!! To begin with she did not beg him to take out his eyes … she only said she can only decide on marriage after she sees him, he could have stopped right there. And when she saw him she made the decision that she does not want to marry him. She has a right to say no I do not want to marry you because you are blind. Just because he did her a favor she does not have to move in with him …

Next time you write something, please leave it to my imagination!!! When you write something creative, either a poem or a short story,  and share it with an audience, let them criticize, split it apart. The moment you try to explain, analyze, you ruin it. If the audience demands your interpretation of your work, then you can have your say. Otherwise, please shut up, and leave the effing creative work alone!! Let me enjoy it in my own way without your unnecessary interruption!

When you twist your own work to force me swallow your political or religious beliefs, that work loses its artistic quality and becomes more like a propaganda piece!! So it is better that you leave it to my imagination unless I ask for your analysis. However, if your real agenda is preaching ‘the passion of Christ’, etc, and you are just using your creative work as a parable, then let me know that in the beginning so I am fully aware of what I am getting myself into—don’t deceive me! Or if you think/worry that people won’t get the ‘wax and gold’ of your creativity, then share it exclusively with those individuals that won’t mind you butchering it. Merci!!!

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2 thoughts on “The audience demands: Leave it to my imagination!

  1. I watched the video about a month ago, luckily i stopped right after he finished the poem. I didnt get to watch the analysis at the end.
    now i jus went back en saw it, i felt ur frustration bro!!!

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