The Meaning of the Meaning: Dissecting a poem

The Meaning of the Meaning: Dissecting a Poem Reza Ghannadan The article attempts to analyze one of Simin Behbanhai’s poems, in reference to the concepts set forth in the theory of “receptios aesthetics” which focuses on the reader’s central role in determining the meaning of literary texts. A text, according to this theory, is not complete is not complete by itself; it becomes complete only when a reader, guided by his “horizon of expectations,” interprets it in any given period.

“Cheragh ra khamoush kardam. . . ketab ra bastam” [I turned off the light. . . closed the book,] depicts the restless night of a middle aged woman whose awareness of the outside world afflicts her with fits of anxiety. Thus, her attempts to find comfort in reading fail and happy memories of the past make her feeling of loneliness only more acute. Feeling the pain of the light piercing her eyes, she furiously throws the book at the lamp shattering it to pieces.

One may assume that the “light” and the “book” serve the same purpose in that both overcome darkness, one physically and the other mentally. The struggle between light and darkness, however, may also be assumed to reflect the

Reza Ghannadan
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