Challenges to Budding Poets
• Invent a new language anyone can understand.
• Climb the Statue of Liberty.
• Reach for the unattainable.
• Kiss the mirror and write what you see and hear.
• Dance with wolves and count the stars, including the unseen,
• Be naive, innocent, uncynical, as if you
had just landed on Earth (as indeed you
• Write living newspapers. Be a reporter from
outerspace, filing dispatches to some
• Read between the lines of human discourse.
• Avoid the provincial, go for the universal,
• Think subjectively, write objectively.
• Don't bow down to critics who have not themselves written great masterpieces,
• Remember everything, forget nothing,
• Work on a frontier, if you can find one.
• Go to sea, or work near water, and paddle your own boat.
• Associate with thinking poets. They're hard to flnd.
• Don't be so open-minded that your brains fall out,
• Be a poet, not a huckster. Don't cater,
don't pander, especially not to possible
• Come out of your closet. It's dark in there.
• Be committed to something outside yourself.
• To be a poet at 16 is to be 16, to be a poet at 40 is to be a poet. Be both.