“The Poet’s Dilemma” by Daniel Pinchbeck
Dear Daniel: I too feel that poets and artists need to move into a new real realm beyond alienation and pessimism . . . [but] what is an artist supposed to do? You can only write the visions that come to you. You can’t consciously ‘steer’ the material into positive attitudes unless you want your poem or novel to be some sort of propaganda piece, or some sort of fake smile on the face of a suffering man.