On Reading Well
A Meditation on C. S. Lewis’s
Experiment in Criticism, pages 100–101
Would you attain an author’s sense?
Or only what you see?
Perhaps your sight is beautiful,
And sees more truth than he.
Or maybe not. How would you know,
Since you are blind to his?
You only pass the test you wrote,
And fail the author’s quiz.
Are you content with that? Just that?
To see and not to find,
To make a window on the world
A mirror of your mind?
How vain, how foolish this! How small!
Do you not live by growth?
What then? An author’s sense, or yours?
Will not the wise say, Both!