Wednesday, 23 July 2008

The Poet's Job

Two perspectives on "the poet's job:"

"It's the poet's job to figure out what's happening within oneself, to figure out the connection between the self and the world, and to get it down in words that have a certain shape, that have a chance of lasting."
~Galway Kinnell

"But the poet's job is, after all, to translate God's poem... into words."
~Babbette Deutsch

What would you say was "the poet's job?" I'm quite tempted to say, "to write poetry, and hang the rest!" Do you think that the poet has a specific social responsibility? To educate and enlighten? To inspire compassion for others? To comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable? To bring about social improvement, in a Lyrical Ballads kind of way? Is it legitimate to write only for oneself and to publish only for one's ego? And does that effect what you choose to write?

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