A need to answer, by Robert Pinsky

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An artist
not so much
an audience

as to feel
a need to answer,
a promise
to respond.

The response may
be a contradiction,
it may be unwanted,
it may go unheeded,
it may be embraced
but twisted

but it is owed,
and the sense
that it is owed
is a basic requirement
for the poet’s good feeling
about the art.

This need to answer,
as firm as the borrowed object
or cash debt,
is the ground
the Centaur walks.


Robert Pinsky, from Poetry and the World (p. 85)

Some found poems

Annie Dillard, on the writing life



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