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Saturday, September 08, 2018

The refusal (Zapruder)

He [Whitman] "shall not let it"—that is, the lures of the world, the intoxication—distract him from his loafing, the refusal to be tempted out of idleness, from which all his great poetry emerges.

This refusal can be difficult to sustain, because of external and internal pressures.  Yet it is only through preserving somewhere, within oneself, a refusal to be "useful" in the ways the world expects, to be "functional" or "productive" or "responsible," that one prepares to be a poet.

Matthew Zapruder, Why Poetry

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