Writing a poem is rather like finding the top of a statue buried in sand. You gradually take the sand away and you find the thing, whole – That is what poetry is, rather than building something up. It’s rediscovering what you’ve known inside yourself the whole time, what you’ve foreseen.
Robert Graves in een interview met Leslie Norris in The Listener – mei 1970
Looking by chance in at the open window
I saw my own self seated in his chair
With gaze abstracted, furrowed forehead,
I thought that I had suddenly come to die,
That to a cold corpse this was my farewell,
Until the pen moved slowly on the paper
And tears fell.
He had written a name, yours, in printed letters
One word on which bemusedly to pore:
No protest, no desire, your naked name,
Would it be tomorrow, would it be next year?
But the vision was not false, this much I knew;
And I turned angrily from the open window
Aghast at you.
Why never a warning, either by speech or look,
That the love you cruelly gave me could not last?
Already it was too late: the bait swallowed,
The hook fast.