What do they mean when they say : « I do not like your poems ; you have no faith whatever. You seem neither to have suffered nor, in fact, to have felt anything very deeply. There is nothing appealing in what you say but on the contrary the poems are positively repellant. They are heartless, cruel, they make fun of humanity. What in God’s name do you mean ? Are you a pagan ? Have, you no tolerance for human frailty ? Rhyme you may perhaps take away but rythm ! why there is none in your work whatever. Is this what you call poetry ? It is the very antithesis of poetry. It is antipoetry. It is the annihilation of life upon which you are bent. Poetry that used to go hand in hand with life, poetry that interpreted our deepest promptings, poetry that inspired, that led us forward to new discoveries, new depths of tolerance, new heights of exaltation. You moderns ! it is the death of poetry that you are accomplishing. No. I cannot understand this work. You have not yet suffered a cruel blow from life. When you have suffered you will write differently ? »
Perhaps this noble apostrophy means something terrible for me, I am not certain, but for the moment I interpret it to say : « You have robbed me. God,. I am naked. What shall I do ? » — By it they mean that when I have suffered (provided I have not done so as yet) I too shall run for cover ; that I too shall’ seek refuge in fantasy. And mind you, I do not say that I will not. To decorate my age.
But today it is different.
The reader knows himself as he was twenty years ago and he has also in mind a vision of what he would be, some day. Oh, some day ! But the thing he never knows and never dares to know is what he is at the exact moment that he is. And this moment is the only thing in which I am at all interested. Ergo, who cares for anything I do ? And what do I care ?
I love my fellow creature. Jesus, how I love him : endways, sideways, frontways and all the other ways — but he doesn’t exist ! Neither does she. I do, in a bastardly sort of way.