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It is not possible, for a poet, writing in any language, to protect himself from the tragic elements in human life…. [ellipsis in source] Illness, old age, and death–subjects as ancient as humanity–these are the subjects that the poet must speak of very nearly from the first moment that he begins to speak.
I regard a love for poetry as one of the most needful and helpful elements in the life-outfit of a human being. It was the greatest of blessings to me, in the long days of toil to which I was shut in much earlier than most young girls are, that the poetry I held in my memory breathed its enchanted atmosphere through me and around me, and touched even dull drudgery with its sunshine.