"Spoken with the unpretentious honesty of her own experience as a working poet with decades of trial and triumph under her belt, Kenyon’s counsel comes as an offering of love:
Tell the whole truth. Don’t be lazy, don’t be afraid. Close the critic out when you are drafting something new. Take chances in the interest of clarity of emotion.The closing passage — the one tacked above Shapiro’s desk — contains some of the most ennobling tenets for a human being to live by:
Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours."