Equals

On the insulting notion that everyone’s a poet:

Sir, These are delicate matters; we all desire

To be told that we’ve the true poetic fire.

But once, to one whose name I shall not mention,

I said, regarding some verse of his invention,

That gentlemen should rigorously control

That itch to write which often afflicts the soul;

That one should curb the heady inclination

To publicize one’s little avocation;

And that in showing off one’s works of art

One often plays a very clownish part.

                  –The Misanthrope (translated by Richard Wilbur)

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