the second-to-last person alive

The marvelous paradox is this: to read poems is to fully experience, not the actual experience that the poet had, but the figured experience that the reader has. To become a poet is to offer a reader the opportunity to be fulfilled with your vision as it transcends their modern life and as it reveals greater imaginary possibilities.

Becoming a poet is to be like the second-to-last person alive speaking out loud and interpreting the living world to the last person alive. Both by our living in modern times and by immersing ourself in the mastery of writing poems, we seek communion with those who also wish to relinquish what they fear and dream, what they accept and resist, in order to be renewed in the word and the world.

Becoming a poet is to consent to this medium of unity. Becoming a poet is to embrace the presence of this wonderful communion and then to return again and again with new figurations of life that we adore and honor as poems.

- David Biespiel, from his essay The Poet Journey: Conclusion over at The Rumpus. You can read the whole thing here.

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