Wednesday, December 19, 2018 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

William Faulkner

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The poets are wrong of course. But then poets are almost always wrong about facts. That's because they are not really interested in facts: only in truth: which is why the truth they speak is so true that even those who hate poets by simple and natural instinct are exalted and terrified by it.

 
William Faulkner

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Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.

 
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It's a feature of our age that if you write a work of fiction, everyone assumes that the people and events in it are disguised biography but if you write your biography, it's equally assumed you're lying your head off. This last may be true, at any rate of poets: Plato said that poets should be excluded from the ideal republic because they are such liars. I am a poet, and I affirm that this is true. About no subject are poets tempted to lie so much as about their own lives; I know one of them who has floated at least five versions of his autobiography, none of them true. I of course being also a novelist am a much more truthful person than that. But since poets lie, how can you believe me?

 
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There are two classes of poets the poets by education and practice, these we respect; and poets by nature, these we love.

 
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Poets who are not interested in music are, or become, bad poets.

 
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