| "Dan Sturn tries to separate his own reaction phase into two distinct reactions: one to the craftsmanship, and one to the message. The first is merely to help the Artist improve in the actual craft of pruning the message. The second reaction is done more as a method of self-analysis, spiritual study, or just pure fun."
I will do likewise in reviewing your essay.
Primarily, and objectively, I will say that your essay was very thought-provoking and you presented your point fairly well. However, you almost completely focused only on poetry. This is disappointing as you repeatedly and briefly mentioned the application of multivalence in all forms of art, including things most people wouldn't consider art, but you failed to prove or even justify your stance on this to us. There is almost no explanation for why you believe this. You just tease it, and state it as supposed facts to support your ideas on poetry without actually giving any form of evidence. You definitely apply your disbelief in proper form of writing, as there isn't much of it in this essay. However I did enjoy reading this because it presented an interesting opinion and caused me to think. For these reasons, and not because I disagree with your argument, I will give you 3 stars.
Now for the very subjective part where I counter your ideas and disprove your argument. I will still try to keep this fairly short so I don't end up with another essay.
Yes, people interpret art differently. However, there is always an intended meaning. And I mean always. You mentioned technology, so I'll use that as an example. The intended purpose of a hammer is to stick nails into things by hitting the nail with the hammer (I don't think that's very controversial). You can actually use a smartphone to do the same thing (try it). However, it won't work as well and your phone will probably break. This is because that's not its intended purpose. The phone is not a hammer, even if you choose to use it for the same thing. Likewise, a person can take all sorts of meanings from a poem. That doesn't mean they're good meanings, or even logical meanings.
Even when you try to create a poem (or other work of art) with no intended meaning, with no intended purpose, in order for people to create their own meanings from it (or listening to "the Muse", as you call it), that ends up being its intended meaning. The intended meaning, the purpose, of the poem is to have multiple meanings.
Certain people excel at doing this, and it isn't that they are listening to the Muse, it's that they purposefully create - by design - an abstract work of art, with vague words, and intentionally unclear motives.
This is the difference between fabric and a shirt. Fabric can be used for any variety of purposes - hundreds of them with different meanings for different people. A shirt, however, has one very clear intended purpose - to be worn on the torso of a person. Fabric does have an intended meaning, though, just as much as a shirt does. The meaning of fabric is that it can be used in so many ways. Its purpose is that it is useful to everyone, they make it whatever they want it to be.
Similarly, try tracing your finger across something - anything near you, your desk, bed sheet, or arm it doesn't matter. Trace a circle. Now trace the first letter of your name. If you use your imagination, you can see what you just traced - even though it's not really there. You can see anything you want on that desk top. Yet in reality it is blank.
Blank art is not special, just vague, and hesitant to declare its what it means in order to please the masses. Perhaps this is why it is sometimes so popular, because it is whatever the reader wants it to be.
This reality doesn't seem to elude you in your essay, but somehow you see it as a good thing. Perhaps because of your belief in the Muse. The Muse does not exist, there is no spiritual component to writing abstract poetry in order to convey thousands of unique meanings to its audience.
Perhaps I could be convinced that there is a spiritual component in reading it and drawing out your own meaning from a random piece of art, but that is in no part due to the artist or the muse supposedly affecting him (unless the particular message is the intended one), but rather, it is due to the unique experiences and psyche of the reader and his imagination. Just like when you traced your finger on the desk.
You also mentioned the ultimate multivalence of personalized religion that is growing in our modern culture. I have also seen this, and I scorn it. People who ascribe to this believe that all religions lead to one god. That they are fragments of something greater than any one of them. They believe that any partaker of any religion will go to heaven because all religions worship the same god, just under the same name. How can this be when the doctrines of these religions so clearly contradict each other? In many of them following another god results in damnation? However, in another religion, you are free to worship as many as you like. This is just one example of many, many contradictions. They can't all be correct. Thus, I regret to say, the belief in "free for all" or "personalized" religion is not truly a midway point of universal agreement. It is just another religion.
In conclusion, I will reiterate that everything has an intended meaning, whether you like it or not.
I would love a reply to this review, if you're willing to write one.
In affiliation with "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group"