The great poem is always possible.
Think of Keats and his odes.
But we shouldn't have to be dying,
What I'm writing now is not
the great poem. After a few lines
I could tell. It may not even be
a particularly good poem, although
it's too early to decide about that.
Keep going, I say. See what happens.
But trying hard is one of the problems.
since it shows in the lines as a strain
or struggle that reminds the reader
too much of the writer, whereas
most readers want to listen alone.
The great poem, I think, will arrive
when I no longer care. Perhaps
I'll have abandoned art altogether,
and I won't even want to write
the poem down. But then I'll remember
what I once would have given
for this moment, and I'll go back
to my desk. And I'll write the poem
as though I were another person,
someone I will never be again.