Essential for the intellectual is the softening of the mind’s edge that the poet provides. Even the subtle thinker of deep and wide learning feels the confusingness of the World, especially the more he seeks out controversy. God help you when you search out controversy on the internet all day. To help He sends the poet. Consider Howard Nemerov[note]from “Figures of Thought: speculations on the meaning of poetry and other essays”, p. 7. D.R. Godine, 1978.[/note]:
You might sum up this part of the thesis by saying that poets are eccentric oddities who on a closer inspection turn out to be eccentric oddities like everyone else. Otherwise put, the poet is the weak criminal whose confession implicates the others.
It is no exaggeration to say that I’ve thought about that quote every week of my life since I first read it in college, and if you read it closely now, you should too. I’ve thought about it frequently because it is sweet to be implicated. It is the opposite of “to accuse”.