Quotation by May Sarton

The poet must be free to love or hate as the spirit moves him, free to change, free to be a chameleon, free to be an enfant terrible. He must above all never worry about his effect on other people. Power requires that one do just that all the time. Power requires that the inner person never be unmasked. No, we poets have to go naked. And since this is so, it is better that we stay private people; a naked public person would be rather ridiculous, what?
May Sarton (b. 1912), U.S. poet, novelist. Hilary Stevens, in Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing, pt. 2 (1965).
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