…so far as I am concerned,
poetry and every other art
was and is and forever will be
strictly and distinctly a question of individuality…
poetry is being, not doing.
If you wish to follow,
even at a distance,
the poet’s calling
(and here, as always, I speak from my own totally biased and entirely personal point of view)
you’ve got to come out of the measurable doing universe
into the immeasurable house of being…
Nobody else can be alive for you;
nor can you be alive for anybody else.
Toms can be Dicks and Dicks can be Harrys,
but none of them can ever be you.
There’s the artist’s responsibility;
and the most awful responsibility on earth.
If you can take it, take it–and be.
If you can’t, cheer up
and go about other people’s business;
and do (or undo)
till you drop.