I’ve narrowed poets down to three categories, those who write for love, those who write for prestige, and those who write for a purpose.
Poets who write for love – Poets who write for love simply write. They do not necessarily need to be published, though they may seek publication. When they do seek publication it is merely because they want to share their poetry with others and if they are never published then they haven’t lost anything because their reward is in the writing.
Poets who write for prestige – These kind of poets need to be published. They may actually hate the process of writing, but they do it anyway. They write to be noticed and publication is their route to prestige. The poet who is most likely to have deficiencies in spirit or character is the poet-for-prestige. He may be an alcoholic or addicted to drugs, may be married multiple times throughout his life, or suffer from manic depression. His lifelong struggle is to be loved and poetry provides the impetus for seeking love and prestige.
Poets who write for a purpose – The purpose-driven poet has a mission. She probably also has a message. There is something driving her to write and that something is an internal motivation. It may be moral or religious, it may be political, it may be some agenda that is neither religious nor political, but there is a purpose. The message is more important than the poetry. This type of poet may actually not even strive to be a good poet or may put the “message” above the poetic elements and place more emphasis on the purpose, his message, than on the poetry itself.
Which type of poet are you? Do you write for love, for prestige, or for a higher purpose?
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