Friday, November 07, 2008

On Reading One’s Own Work

Many people will say the poet is gifted; I believe the poet is cursed-- doomed to seek the assurance of others to tell him that the thing he holds in his hands is not a corpse, but a child.

What an existence, this second-hand knowing!

The poet carries blindly the thing in his hands-- nurtures this half-formed promise to become accustom to the weight, this child or this corpse, and the ache of having carried it so far.

Many people will say “if you created it and will starve it, surely you should see yourself through to its drowning!” They cannot understand that what the poet holds in his hands is practically himself-- that this man, trying to see that the thing he wrought is vanished entirely into the water, wades deeply with it. Deeper still. Farewell.