A Conversation with the Poet Merlie Alunan Regarding “We Kept a Jarful of Keys” By franz tatel
Me: May I ask some information about your poem “We Kept a Jarful of Keys”?
Merlie: What do you want to know about Jarful of Keys?
Me: Ma'am I want to know the reason why you were able to write such kind of poem. What is it
about po? Is it biographical? I want to know everything you're willing to share to me
regarding that poem of yours. It's simply written but I noticed it has a deeper meaning.
Merlie: Read the poem and tell me what you understand. Don't ask silly questions why I wrote
such a poem. My life story does not have anything to do with the poem. If your teacher
says so, tell her the question is irrelevant. Read the poem. What it says to you, that is the
poem. So what is the deeper meaning? Poets do not like to explain their own poems.
Me: The poem is about two persons in love with each and never thought that their love would
fade away as time goes by. But it does. They forgot to reserve something for themselves.
But they cannot do anything about their current situation because they have already gone
so far, so they better accept the situation and bear it with dignity. Whatever is there, let it
be there. No turning back. “How did we ever think/ we had no need of keys?" For me
this implies indiscretion by the couple. They always thought love would take them
through till the end but the feeling slowly dies. This is my personal interpretation of the
poem. I thank you for the help Ma'am and for the advice. I will always bear in my mind
that it is not always necessary to know what exactly the writer wants to convey in his
poem as long as I get a value out of it. Thanks once again.
Merlie: You're good, Francis. Glad to help
Me: Thank you so much Ma'am. Anyway I'm not a student po though I look like one coz I'm just
21. I'm a young college instructor po. First sem of teaching so I really need help coz I'm
just starting in the...
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