Thinking this morning about three things that influence poetry-making, yesterday and today:

1. The inherent exploratory quality of every creative effort, whether in art or anything else. The blank page & its first words face the pre-existent world in all its tenured prestige. Thus there will always be an inventive aspect to original creation.

2. The present-day separation between fiction, poetry, and music, which creates challenges and opportunities.

3. The combination of the first two factors, in the context of a limited audience for poetry (compared with that for both fiction and music), generates an intensified self-conscious, or reflexive, quality in poetry. Creativity is at least as much autonomous and self-absorbed, as it is social and "opportunistic"; the isolation of poetry complicates the rhetoric of its address to an audience - leading poets, in poetry, to question the "fiction of fiction" and the authenticity of every literary mode and manner.

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