"Historically, of course, the scales are tipped in favor of the non-bourgeois poet. Yeats warned that the hearth was more dangerous for a poet than alcohol. Rilke said, 'Only in the rat race of the arena, does a heart learn to beat. Well off the margins of the page in 'The Bourgeois Poet' there’s an invisible Greek chorus singing, 'You’ve got to earn a living.'
Ultimately for a poet the fence is so high the top is invisible, but it is what we are designed to reach for. Everything else is mere scaffolding. You will most likely get the back of the muse’s hand whether you have a chair at Harvard or are pumping septic tanks in Missouri. I must say my sympathies are still with César Vallejo, a grander poet than anyone now living on our bruised earth. In Paris between the world wars Vallejo and his girlfriend would pick out the empty wine bottles in trash receptacles to earn their keep."