Philip Larkin

“I think a young poet, or an old poet for that matter, should try to produce something that pleases himself personally, not only when he’s written it but a couple of weeks later.  Then he should see if it pleases anyone else, by sending it to the kind of magazine he likes reading.  But if it doesn’t, he shouldn’t be discouraged.  I mean, in the seventeenth century every educated man could turn a verse and play the lute.  Supposing no one played tennis because they wouldn’t make Wimbledon?  First and foremost, writing poems should be a pleasure.  So should reading them, by God.”

– Philip Larkin

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