Saturday, December 3

there they were

Then much more vaguely I remember subsequent half-furtive moments when I would absorbedly scribble at verse for an hour or so, and then run away from the act and the production as if it were secret sin. It seems to me that "knowing oneself" was a sin and a vice for innumerable centuries, before it became a virtue. It seems to me, it is still a sin and a vice, when it comes to new knowledge. – In those early days – for I was very green and unsophisticated at twenty – I used to feel myself at times haunted by something, and a little guilty about it, as if it were an abnormality. Then the haunting would get the better of me, and the ghost would suddenly appear, in the shape of a usually rather incoherent poem. Nearly always I shunned the apparition once it had appeared. From the first, I was a little afraid of my real poems – not my "compositions," but the poems that had the ghost in them. They seemed to me to come from somewhere, I didn't quite know where, out of a me whom I didn't know and didn't want to know, and to say things I would much rather not have said: for choice. But there they were. I never read them again.

-- D.H. Lawrence, in the Foreword to Collected Poems