The poet enters his world as an as if: he writes as if he were plowing a field, as if he were conducting a chemical experiment, as if he were analyzing a real man seated before him. He is free with a stroke of a pen to change the lineaments of the world he has imagined…
The more sensitively alive a man is, the more certainly his life must scar him. But it is only the is-reality that scars. In the act of re-imagining that reality and capturing it into the as-if of poetic form, the poem releases the mind from the bonds of body and situation.
Because the poet is free to as-if as many realities as he likes, he can, by that much, see his life as part of all other realities.
He can imagine himself from outside himself.
And he can imagine himself into the mind and feeling of other men. He is ready to acquire both sympathy and understanding.
-- from "An ulcer, gentlemen, is an unwritten poem" by John Ciardi --
Have a great Wednesday!