Pearls from artists* # 289February 28, 2018
*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
I do not think it the business of a poet to become a guru. It is his business to write poetry, and to do that he must remain open and vulnerable. We grow through relationships of every kind, but most of all through a relationship that takes the whole person. And it would be pompous and artificial to make an arbitrary decision to shut the door.
The problem is to keep a balance, not to fall to pieces. In keeping her balance in her last years Louise Bogan stopped writing poems, or nearly. It was partly, I feel sure, that the detachment demanded of the critic (and especially his absorption in analyzing the work of others) is diametrically opposed to the kind of detachment demanded of the poet in relationship to his own work. We are permitted to become detached only after the shock of an experience has been taken in, allowed to “happen” in the deepest sense. Detachment comes with examining the experience by means of writing the poem.
May Sarton in Journal of a Solitude: The intimate diary of a year in the life of a creative woman
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