You read Merrill? I get six lines into any poem of his & nod off. For Celan & Auden I share your reverence. I think it is in Life Studies, in a poem about Delmore Schwartz, that Lowell calls Freud & Marx the "prophets of joy." I'd better go look this up--I have the feeling I'm misquoting badly. Joy, clearly, is one of the functions of poetry--& as you have noted, certain kinds of philosophy. I'd even go so far as to suggest that philosophy that becomes divorced from the personality of the philosopher is somehow defective, denatured.


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