This book is fantastic, and the students seem to be enjoying it. They have lots to say, and what they say suggests they're reading pretty carefully.
That said, sometimes they're a bit off.
In one of the poems, for example, the speaker talks about being at a funeral with her child. At one point well into the poem, she hands the child to her husband so she can throw dirt onto the grave.
But several of my students missed that, and from the way the poem uses direct address, decided that the speaker must be a new widow, burying her husband. So I've pointed them to the part where she says that she hands the child to her husband.
I'm pretty careful only to use evidence from within the poem.
When I started studying English, I took a course in theory and criticism. In the course, we focused primarily on a book of poems by George Oppen and sort of on hermeneutics. Sounds interesting, doesn't it? Except it was pretty miserable because often, when someone would point to something in a poem and say, "this says X," the professor would say, basically, no, it isn't X, because I know George and that didn't happen. And it always seemed to me very unfair to ask us to try to read poems if they only make sense if you know the writer.
(Retrospectively, I realize that we were probably all pretty naïve readers, but the principle holds.)
And then, of course, I try to be careful to separate the speaker of a poem from the writer, even though with a lot of more confessional contemporary poetry, that separation feels difficult.
(The other thing that made the course miserable was the professor's unwillingness to define or explain "hermeneutics" except to say that "hermeneutics isn't [this]," or "hermeneutics isn't [that]." As I said at the time, my car wasn't either of those things, either, but I was pretty sure it wasn't hermeneutics. (This was in the days before the internet, or even email, and my dictionary didn't provide much help. I SHOULD have gone to the library and asked a librarian for help, but I wasn't that sophisticated a student at that point.)
I've never understood why he didn't just take half an hour and give us a nice introduction to hermeneutics and interpretation; I hope he had a good pedagogical reason for spiraling around it instead, but I've never figured it out.
Anyway, my friend is skyping into my class from afar today, and I'm excited for them to get to talk to her!