An extraordinary probe into human psychology and literature.
Illustration by James Lee Chiahan
“The mind is a current—let’s take a river as an example. It not only carries whatever it picks up by what it traverses (breakfast table, garden), but it is also changed in its course by what it traverses. Its weight changes, its speed, the direction in which it was going. Being taken by surprise is one of the fundamental experiences for any poet writing any poem. You know you are in the grip of a poem when it—the subject, the terrain you are entering, traversing—reorients you and puts you before a question that you did not know existed. You are irrevocably changed.“