The Poet Is A Thief

I wrote a poem last night and, despite it being so concise, it took me a lot of effort to complete it. Words most of the time just flow out naturally, but this time I could not find the right word I needed. It was at that point that I decided to stop writing and start reading. I was flipping through the pages of a book of poems by  Marina Tsvetayeva when I stumbled on the right word. I smiled thinking about T.S. Eliot's quote: "one of the surest tests [of the superiority or inferiority of a poet] is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal." Maybe I am not really mature, but I will call myself a thief. I won't tell you which word I stole, but you can read the poem I stole it from! 

Every verse is a child of love,
A destitute bastard slip,
A firstling -- the winds above--
Left by the road asleep.
Heart has a gulf, and a bridge,
Heart has a bless, and a grief.
Who is his father? A liege?
Maybe a liege, or a thief.


  1. Hey, is that Chastity Flame, er -- Modesty Blaise? :-) Theft is second nature to a magpie like me, so I cast no aspersions.

  2. I've heard a similar quote for fiction writing as well, that professional writers steal. Good post. Is the word you stole destitute? Liege?
    Oh, I'm also quite glad to see you got a poem written amidst the chaos.

  3. My guess if you stole "firstling." That's a cool word.

    And I love the magpie reference of your comment above. Always reminds me of the double live Marillion cd 'The Thieving Magpie.'


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