Autumn is here, and I have started writing critiques again. After a sabbatical year of self-indulged writing, I’m going to my assignments with a stronger literary awareness, which hopefully also will profit my readers.
A critic is not a poet, or need not be, but if you are a writer, writing is what you do, and you better try your best:
It is no use thinking that writing of poems – the actual writing – can accommodate itself to a social setting, even the most sympathetic social setting of a workshop composed of friends. It cannot. The work improves there and often the will to work gets valuable nourishment and ideas. But, for good reasons, the poem requires of the writer not society or instruction, but a patch of profound and unbroken solitude.
– and I find Oliver’s advice to be very true, also for an ordinary writer: writing requires of the writer not society or instruction, but a patch of profound and unbroken solitude.