Writing as an escape or an introspect

Behind several theories of what happens to a poet during the writing of a poem – Eliot’s escape from personality, Keats’s idea of informing and filling another body, Yeat’s notion of the mask, Auden’s concept of the poet becoming someone else for the duration of the poem, Valery’s idea of a self superior to the self – lies the implied assumption that the self as given is inadequate and will not do. How you feel about yourself is probably the most important feelings you have. It colours all other feelings, and if you are a poet, it colours your writing. It may account for your writing.

Richard Hugo, The Triggering Town 1979:67


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