When Adrienne Rich died last month, I found a letter to the editor she wrote in 1997 on Why [She] Refused the National Medal for the Arts. She wrote a lovely, thought-provoking letter, but my favorite part quotes other writers, which I present in honor of April.
"If there were no poetry on any day in the world," the poet Muriel Rukeyser wrote, "poetry would be invented that day. For there would be an intolerable hunger." In an essay on the Caribbean poet Aime Cesaire, Clayton Eshleman names this hunger as "the desire, the need, for a more profound and ensouled world."