Deconstructive Reading


This paper examines four poems by four different poets dealing with more or less the same subject. The subject is an invitation by a young man addressed to a young woman to come and live in his world. The situation is familiar enough, and it is fraught with possibilities, both poetic and moral. The poetic possibilities have to do with whether or not it is possible to write a good poem about an immoral theme, whether a good theme elevates the poem to its own level of goodness regardless of the artistry of the poet, and whether it is possible, to begin with, to separate the artistry from the morality of the poem. The moral possibilities have to do with whether the invitation is innocent or wicked, whether both the inviter and the invited are aware of the moral complexities of the situation or not, and whether the reader has to take sides in order to appreciate the poems.


Mohammad Asfour