If you could construct an ideal poet, what attributes would you give him or her -- dress included?
I like Stevens's idea of a ragged old tramp who nevertheless on suitable occasions takes his place at the head of the table. (Cosmic poverty and its momentary redemption.) He or she could be wearing clothes appropriate to the vice president of an insurance company, assuming them proper to absolute poverty; or full evening dress, thought proper to a great celebration.
--frank kermode ['the man in the back row has a question vi'; paris review, spring 2000]