On the Function of the Artist:
"What is [the poet's] function? Certainly it is not to lead people out of the confusion in which they find themselves. Nor is it, I think, to comfort them while they follow their leaders to and fro. I think that his function is to make his imagination theirs and that he fulfills himself only as he sees his imagination become the light in the mind of others. His role, in short, is to help people to live their lives."
(Stevens, The Critical Heritage, 1997)