"... only a flirtation."
A couple days ago, I began reading Mary Oliver's A Poetry Handbook. In the first few pages she manages to confront her reader with the following:
"Various ambitions – to complete the poem, to see it in print, to enjoy the gratification of someone's comment about it – serve in some measure as incentives to the writer's work. Though each of these is reasonable, each is a threat to that other ambition of the poet, which is to write as well as Keats, or Yeats, or Williams – or whoever it was who scribbled onto a a page a few lines whose force the reader once felt and has never forgotten. Every poet's ambition should be to write as well. Anything else is only a flirtation."
Damn high bar.