That tortured soul, the poet


When I look at the lives of the poets, I understand what’s wrong with me. They were willing to make the sacrifices that I’m not willing to make. They were so tortured, so messed up.

I’m only a little messed up. I’m tortured to the point where I don’t sleep very well sometimes, and I don’t answer mail as I should. Sometimes I feel a languor of spirit when I get an email asking me to do something. Also, I’ve run up a significant credit-card debt. But that’s not real self-torture.

Nicholson Baker, The Anthologist, Simon & Schuster 2009. p. 25.


2 thoughts on “That tortured soul, the poet

  1. How is it that the tortured soul ends up writing some of the most beautful poetry instead of wining and complaining? Some how they have managed to create something positive out of their pain.

  2. That’s the mystery, isn’t it? That extra gift that so few people have. But of course there’s another side to it, which is that the tortured souls often create havoc in the lives of those they live with!

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