Years ago I heard Stanley Kunitz say, “The first job of the poet is to become the person who could write the poems.”
For a long time I thought this meant I had to become a better person than I am. I thought I had to become virtuous and perfect, so that the Muse would give me wise and beautiful poems.
But what I know now is that all (all!) I needed to do is to become myself, not someone else’s idea of me. (more…)