Saturday, September 22, 2012

Why I Am not a People's Poet

Herewith, the talk I didn't give at Mount Allison University yesterday. Enjoy.


NigelBeale said...


Enjoyed your talk...and your accent. One question: you quote Muir as saying that the poet must practice an imaginative truth - be true to his imagination...then you talk of the need to imagine an audience of as to appeal to them I gather...

Seems to be an element of contradiction here. Perhaps you could clarify. Thanks.

Zachariah Wells said...

No, not true to _his_ imagination, but loyal to "imaginative truth." The responsibility, he says, is "to preserve a true image of life." The "public" as such is a false image of life because all it shows you is (more or less) common denominators. It reveals nothing of the particular qualities of the individuals who, as a mass, comprise the public. So, I don't see any contradiction in what I quoted.