Poetry is no hobby.
It is no leisure; no pastime.
For these would imply
that the choice was mine
to thread with such absurd care
these words which are laid
upon my metered heart.
Though it is my pleasure,
and though it pass the hour,
poetry is no hobby.
Poetry is no passion.
It is no yearning; no desire.
For these would suggest
that my body ache to know
more fully some great mystery
which yet eludes my grip.
Though it disturb my soul,
and though it is not contained,
poetry is no passion.
Poetry is no business.
It is no job; surely no career.
With words like these,
one might esteem a poet
to have more than his two cents.
The words are his wealth;
all the rest is change.
The poet cannot escape the poem:
it is her curse and his disease.
In speech, in dress, in conversation,
there is poetry; there is prose.
The weaving of words is a weakness,
one to which I surrender gladly.
An addiction, compulsion, opportunity;
there is excitement in the practice.
O cruel novelty, will you never cease?
As long as you are, I shall be
a poet: bound to express.