The Critic’s Pain

Will anyone know how painful it is to review a mediocre book of poems and to try to sound enthused?  Only the critic, genius unparalleled, understands.  He sees mere glimmers of what he’d like to see in those young men and women, who, in parallel lines, utter the almost unutterable, however badly, however cruelly, however sad.  It is as if he would stand naked before each and say, Okay, if you must, I will.  But the poet, self-absorbed, immoral, incorrect, forgets his obligation, and the critic – because he believes in duty, loyalty, honor – listens and speaks reverently about what the poet takes for granted.

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