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Hersh Patel AP English 14 September 2003 Commentary on Stanley Fish Article How to Recognize a Poem When You See One Stanley Fish in his inductive essay How to Recognize a Poem When You See One argues that the process of distinguishing certain features of an object follows the act of recognition Fish offers such conclusions from a short anecdote which illustrates an analytical response of a group of students to five names he writes on a board The students who focus on Christian symbols and Biblical allusions spontaneously analyze and extract meaning from the list The story exemplifies Fishs theory that all objects are made not found Fish also concludes that interpreters find poems not by the poems distinguishing features but by the knowledge of poems the interpreters possess he believes that interpreters do not decode poems they make them The differences an interpreter sees in certain objects result from the different interpretive operations he or she performs and not from something inherent in one or another As Fish states the interpreter derives this knowledge of operations from a publicly available system of intelligibility or in other words from sources of education such as books teachers and producers of literature The interpreters thoughts in essence are the products of the quality quantity and focus of the source of intelligibility In absence of this public source an individuals interpretation becomes prone to objectivity and subjectivity since his or her meanings of a text become independent of those of the social construct Fishs theory that all objects are made not found through interpretive strategies arouses skepticism as to its validity during certain circumstances The theory itself explains that interpreters of poetry make the poem that students make the assignment and that they create such objects through the source of intelligibility or the interpretive strategies of a public source In other words an individuals knowledge which he or she gains through public resources allows him or
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