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It should begin with friendship, I think. Suddenly I cannot look at him. It should begin with friendship and truly knowing who a person is, knowing his flaws and hopes and strengths and fears, knowing all of it. And admiring and caring for- loving the person because of all of those things… I know that now.
Poems very seldom consist of poetry and nothing else; and pleasure can be derived also from their other ingredients. I am convinced that most readers, when they think they are admiring poetry, are deceived by inability to analyse their sensations, and that they are really admiring, not the poetry of the passage before them, but something else in it, which they like better than poetry.
One even tries to figure out why Donald Trump is so admiring of a leader who has cracked down on journalists and is suspected of using even violence, cracked down on civil society, ruling with an iron fist within Russia. To look with admiration on that sort of domestic leadership, I think is just really inconsistent with American values.
With all of the visual distraction constantly inundating us in the form of our devices and screens, I really derive a great deal of pleasure from watching the sun rise and set, admiring clouds as they change shape across the sky, watching tree leaves and blossoms undulate in the breeze….these treats foment an ocular-cleansing refreshment to my way of thinking.
Familiarity with any great thing removes our awe of it. The great general is only terrible to the enemy; the great poet is frequently scolded by his wife; the children of the great statesman clamber about his knees with perfect trust and impunity; the great actor who is called before the curtain by admiring audiences is often waylaid at the stage door by his creditors.
You start admiring someone who’s famous for actually doing something—imagine that—and I swear to you I will buy you every item in her entire wardrobe. But over my own dead body will I spend my own time and money turning you into a clone of some brain-dead waste of skin who thinks the pinnacle of achievement is selling her wedding shots to a magazine.