I had long ago solved the problem of the essence of poetry. I knew that poetry was a temporary manifestation of psychophysiologic development, characteristic of the borderline between puberty and adulthood. Normal people bother about poetry only as long as they are virgins, in a sexual as well as a general sense of the term. When a person is young and green, he resents the fact that the world is full of injustice and hypocrisy, and he longs for beautiful girls, adventure, and all sorts of nonsense. Eventually all of this passes, the longing for girls is cooled by taking St Paul's advice (better to marry than burn) and by going to the movies; the longing for adventure is satisfied by detective stories and football. The handful of individuals who remain virgins in the non-sexual sense turn into real poets. And a certain number of others, whom the world has deprived of all forms of virginity, turn into male or female whores. It had long been clear to me, without undue bitterness, that I belonged to this last group, though not to its extreme wing, perhaps.

(Josef Skvorecky, 1969, Miss Silver's Past, The Ecco Press 1985, p. 41)

Sam Mok