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Poet: Philosophy Undermined My Atheism

A Catholic poet in a secular age talks of his journey to Catholicism in the Catholic Herald:

Every poet is a war poet. Speaking at this month’s Hay Festival, Colombian writer Juan Gabriel Vásquez recalled one of Hemingway’s countless boxing analogies: “I wouldn’t fight Dr Tolstoy in a 20-round bout... But I could take him on for six and he would never hit me and [I] would knock the s--- out of him.”

Faced with a similar scenario in his latest project, Michael Symmons Roberts is more docile, but just as self-assured. Symmons Roberts is taking on Mozart, writing the libretto for his unfinished opera Zaide, and feels no compunction to defer to him, or the list of lyric poets who preface him: “If they’re all looking over your shoulder when you write you would never pen a line,” he says: “it’s a frightening group – Thomas [Edward], Tennyson, John Donne, Milton. In that sense, there is hubris in all writing.”
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