Ben Lerner on Writing Poetry

"Poetry arises from the desire to get beyond the finite and the historical— the human world of violence and difference— and to reach the transcendent or divine. You’re moved to write a poem, you feel called upon to sing, because of that transcendent impulse. But as soon as you move from that impulse to the actual poem, the song of the infinite is compromised by the finitude of its terms...

"Like so many poets, I live in the space between what I am moved to do and what I can do, and confront in that disconnect not only my individual limitations (although I feel those, too) but also the structure of the art as I conceive it.

Lerner, Ben. The Hatred of Poetry

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