The Poet Needs the Critic to Condescend

It is as if the poet were wooing his critic.  It is as if the poet were lost in the desert and, knowing only semaphore, must flag down rescue from an angel passing overhead.  This is the critic.  It is as if the poet were a child in a fairytale, and the critic an actual child, safe in his bed.  It is as if the poet had climbed a mountain to find the critic – untattered, untorn – had arrived there first.  He shares his camp.  It is as if the poet were a thief, and the critic one who judges and forgives.  It is as if the poet were a gambler – raving, mad – on a lucky streak, and the critic the house that always wins.

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