Funny discovering one’s identity, like listening to your voice in a recording and realizing that you hate it and, in fact, barely recognize it. But everyone else is pretty much used to it, so there’s no sense feeling down about it.
A poet is not so much a person who writes poetry, but one who sees poetically. The rhythmic and fluxing paper reflections that result are tangible fragments of a great, glittering horizon. The poet stares out upon it and finds it fixating, exhilarating, impossible, and immense. To cope (for sanity is a fragile thing), a scrawled framework or a bad rhyme under duress will suffice, but there is never any real satisfaction in completing a poem, for a poem is inherently never complete. It is, because of what it is, a partial attempt to speak the unspeakable, to swallow the whole of a field or the magnitude of regret or the piercing depth of the human soul. Feebly, we continue the practice because what else can we do? What, if we have not learned to play the violin from the top of the Matterhorn, or sustain eye contact with a homeless person, or catch a heron by the tail and see where it lives? So we pull out the ol’ knapsack, rummage for a pen, and think feverishly, “There must be some way to write this down.”
I would rather be barefoot so I can fee everything under my feet. The pain comes along with the brisk joy of grass under your toes or the sharp surprise of snow, or the poetry of sand as it gives way to sea. If I cannot bear the rocks and thorns, my feet will never be strong enough for the mountains.