What ARE we if not eccentric? Crazy as a loon
we’re not; we know a hawk from a handsaw on the whole;
parading a lobster down the boulevard at high noon
is not what we’re mostly into. But it’s an individual
pulse that drives us, the lub-dub of this lump of muscle,
on which other patterns may be superimposed—
poetry, I would say, emerges from the tussle
between them. It is not like a store-bought suit of clothes
cut to a standard measure and if it doesn’t fit you, tough.
Nor is it like a room fitted out by a decorator,
rather it is like a room where objects have accumulated, some earlier, some later,
all held together by being some one person’s stuff.
It follows that the first rule of criticism is: love
(with everything about them that you could not possibly have invented) your neighbor.