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07/02/2011

“I think when you’re a poet you have to forget you’re a poet — a real poet doesn’t draw attention to the fact he’s a poet. The reason a poet is a poet is to write poems, not to advertise himself as a poet.”

The great Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai in a fascinating Paris Review interview. I have to wonder what he would have thought of this ever-proliferating world of writers’ blogs and the presence of writers qua writers in the ballooning social media. It’s all really come into being since his death. My wife is always telling me I should spend less time blogging or Facebooking and more writing. Amichai would probably concur.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. 07/02/2011 12:45

    Interesting statement I tend to agree with while noting that blogging isn’t exactly advertising, and Facebook isn’t entirely about networking.

    I think of these activities as pretty much the digital aspect of what I do anyway: a combination of foraging for sparks, thinking aloud to hear what it could sound like, and what I think you have to call creative procrastination – that way of keeping duty at arm’s length for just long enough to keep the rhythm of writing going.

    That’s all pretty instinctual stuff, which is why we often feel guilty, but it’s still connected to the ongoing business of being a writer rather than the ongoing busyness which enables us to keep on being a writer.

    • Andrew Philip permalink
      07/02/2011 12:47

      An excellent point, Bill, with which I agree. I love the genuine connections that have arisen partly through all this online activity.
      On the other hand, I occasionally nosedive toward getting obsessive about the blog stats …

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