The reason a poet is a poet is to write poems, not to advertise himself as a poet.
But I’m too old to be written about as a young poet.
The poet Melvin B. Tolson once said, ‘A civilization is judged only in its decline.’ That made sense to me. I would imagine the same is true for poets and tennis players.
The poet’s expression of joy conceals his despair at not having found the reality of joy.
But maybe it’s up in the hills under the leaves or in a ditch somewhere. Maybe it’s never found. But what you find, whatever you find, is always only part of the missing, and writing is the way the poet finds out what it is he found.
I would have a poet able bodied, fond of talking, a reader of the newspapers, capable of pity and laughter, informed in economics, appreciative of women, involved in personal relationships, actively interested in politics, susceptible to physical impressions.
Walt Whitman is the only great modern poet who does not seem to experience discord when he faces his world. Not even solitude – his monologue is a universal chorus.
The poet is on the side of undeceiving the world.
Working alone on a poem, a poet is of all artists the most free. The poem can be written with a modicum of technology, and can be published, in most cases, quite cheaply.
According to its doctors, my one intransigent desire is to have been a Confederate general, and because I could not or would not become anything else, I set up for poet and beg an to invent fictions about the personal ambitions that my society has no use for.