ted kooser, poet laureate of the United States, wrote this wonderful poem which i think really captures the contradiction in art: the pursuit of it, the hope that it will touch someone, the meaning and unmeaning of it in the greater scheme of things. it came in my mailbox as part of the writer's almanac for July 8th. behenji likes small surprises;)
Poem: "Selecting a Reader" by Ted Kooser, from Sure Signs. © University of Pittsburg Press. Reprinted with permission.
Selecting a Reader
First, I would have her be beautiful,
and walking carefully up on my poetry
at the loneliest moment of an afternoon,
her hair still damp at the neck
from washing it. She should be wearing
a raincoat, an old one, dirty
from not having money enough for the cleaners.
She will take out her glasses, and there
in the bookstore, she will thumb
over my poems, then put the book back
up on its shelf. She will say to herself,
"For that kind of money, I can get
my raincoat cleaned." And she will.