(I have often enjoyed making up fake Ultimate Poetics Exam In the Sky type exam questions. At the past midnight tail end of this somewhat discombobulated Saturday, I thought I would pass one along. If anyone else has any such imaginary Issues, or Answers, let's have 'em).
Bishop once told Robert Lowell, "When you write my epitaph, you must say I was the loneliest person who ever lived." This was in 1948, before Bishop met Lota, the Brazilian woman who was her lover and partner until Lota committed suicide in 1967.
Are poets, by their avocation, their use of words
perhaps, uniquely lonely?
a) Many believe that loneliness
is the cause and poems, the effect.
b) Some revise
this postulate, as follows, once they proceed
for a few years or decades:
Poems are the cause, loneliness the effect, because
of the inner effect poetry writing has on one's own
mind, how one thinks, sees with feeling.
And second question: what is the relationship between
loneliness and the reader?