keep an animal

[The poet’s] tragedy is summed up in these word written in a private letter by a contemporary American poet: “For more than a month I have not been able to find time to write anything, and you know how heavy that is to a writer who feels all of youth lost to keep an animal.” Here is the animal, crying to be feed and warmed and housed. Here is the poet, who cannot rest from wanting to set down the bit of reality that he has been able to seize.

—Babette Deutsch, “The Plight of Poetry,” The American Mercury (May 1926)

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