Narcissism and the Confederate dead cannot be connected logically, or even historically; even were the connection an historical fact, they would not stand connected as art, for no one experiences raw history.
According to its doctors, my one intransigent desire is to have been a Confederate general, and because I could not or would not become anything else, I set up for poet and beg an to invent fictions about the personal ambitions that my society has no use for.
The innocent mansion of a panther's heart!
For some reason most critics have a hard time fixing their minds directly under their noses, and before they see the object that is there they use a telescope upon the horizon to see where it came from.
Experience means conflict, our natures being what they are, and conflict means drama.
So the poet, who wants to be something that he cannot be, and is a failure in plain life, makes up fictitious versions of his predicament that are interesting even to other persons because nobody is a perfect automobile salesman.
What is the poem, after it is written? That is the question. Not where it came from or why.
Men expect too much, do too little.
Dramatic experience is not logical; it may be subdued to the kind of coherence that we indicate when we speak, in criticism, of form.
Genetic theories, I gather, have been cherished academically with detachment.
But in our age the appeal to authority is weak, and I am of my age.
In a manner of speaking, the poem is its own knower, neither poet nor reader knowing anything that the poem says apart from the words of the poem.
I am not ridiculing verbal mechanisms, dreams, or repressions as origins of poetry; all three of them and more besides may have a great deal to do with it.
Serious poetry deals with the fundamental conflicts that cannot be logically resolved: we can state the conflicts rationally, but reason does not relieve us of them.
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