Poetry is innately related to theft. The lyre was invented, the Greeks tell us, by Hermes, who then gave the instrument to Apollo as compensation for stealing cattle. One reason people’s aversion to poetry sometimes passes over into strong annoyance, or even resentment, is that poems steal our very language out from under us and return it malformed, misshapen, hardly recognizable.
POSTED BY DAN CHIASSON
From the New Yorker, January 9, 2013
Photograph: Library of Congress.