why we wish to do that no one knows

As to the younger generation, those who regularly tire of us older writers. Listen, I was once a young man, ambitious, intemperate, arrogant, and, yes, terribly impatient. I wished the older generation to get out of the way and make room for me. There were times when I judged my elders and found them wanting, the endless repetitions of their poetic preoccupations exhausting and of no significant value. And I sometimes judged my peers, those who lived in my country, the Canadians. I wanted the world to see me, not just Vancouver or Toronto, Salmon Arm or Saskatoon. We must remember that the avant-garde soon enough becomes the old guard. We endlessly invent replicas of ourselves and call it new. The real question is why do we poets do what we do and why do we spend our lives doing it? I have always believed that we poets wish to make something beautiful, but why we wish to do that no one knows.

- Patrick Lane, in an interview with David Kosub on his blog, "Speaking of Poems".

1 comment:

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