I myself hate that old Hemingwayesque paradigm of the writer as prizefighter and I have tried hard to create an alternate one for myself. When Anne Sexton admonished me, "We are all writing God's poem," I took it to mean there should be no competition between writers because we are all involved in a common project, a common prayer. But to Gore's and Norman's generation, particularly those male writers who served in the second world war, the prizefighter paradigm remains.
Such was the wreck of the Hesperus, In the midnight and the snow! Christ save us all from a death like this, On the reef of Norman's Woe!Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
And fast through the midnight dark and drear, Through the whistling sleet and snow, Like a sheeted ghost, the vessel swept Towards the reef of Norman's Woe.Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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