To the poets

I spent a season in wonderment of composers of musicals. They have to know about so many things: writing music, the effects of different instruments, singing, choreography, storytelling.

I went through a phase where I was jealous of visual artists. Because I felt like visual artists could do anything and get away with it. (Sorry if this offends. It’s because I actually don’t know much about visual arts.)

Sometimes I think that I could have been any kind of artist and the main reason I decided to be a writer is that it was the most accessible art. I liked that I didn’t need to wait for anything or anyone to begin. Prose writers: we are impatient. Minimalist. Desperate.

But there is one more artist I would like to stereotype–which is the poet. The past two weeks I got to know a poet (and a composer and a painter and a photographer). And what I realized—what we all realized sitting together at a table—was that each one of us had the possibility of making it big. A slim possibility, but a possibility still. Except for the poet. The poet will never make any money off of her art.

So dear poet, why do you do it?


  1. Ha—at Boston we always said in that in the poetry program everyone was there to talk about language. In the fiction program everyone was there to talk about finding an agent.

    Sent from my iPhone


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