Audience

To whom does a poet address his work?  Perhaps the more essential question is: to whom ought a poet address his work?  The literary critic must be considered first, even in a love poem, above all others.  When the poet says, for instance, “my love,” or “mother,” who is listening?  Who might answer?  It is rare that a poem is read well unless by one appropriately schooled.  The job of the poet, then, is to address his poems to the proper audience, and the job of the literary critic is to grow enormous ears like an elephant.  Therefore, when the poet squeaks even as slightly as a mouse, the critic might hear the notes, transcribe them, nod and understand.

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