35: Honor

The poet isn’t interested in honor. He is willing to sleep with soiled things that others have thrown out of doors, that others have pitied and despised. Instead of cradling the bird with the broken neck into the ground behind the hedge, the poet nails it to a board and stretches out its wings for the flies and ants. Instead of disguising his defects, writing about himself to inspire others, the poet assumes the defects of this subjects, the dirty man who sleeps in the creek bed, the wild animal, the shy school boy, the thief. He speaks for those who cannot speak, whose tongues are tied by fear and shame.

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