Confrontation with My Own Innocence

“Poetry  aims for an economy of truth–loose and useless words must be discarded, and I found that these loose and useless words were not separate from loose and useless thoughts.  Poetry was not simply the transcriptions of notions–beautiful writing rarely is.  I wanted to learn to write, which was ultimately, still, as my mother had taught me, a confrontation with my own innocence, my own rationalizations.  Poetry was the processing of my thoughts until the slag of justification fell away and I was left with the cold steel truths of life.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me

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