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WILLIAM MORRIS (1834-96)
A two-page autograph letter, signed, from Kelmscott House, Upper Mall, Hammersmith, September 6th [no year], to an unidentified correspondent, declining to criticise his poetry, but giving advice on how poetry should be written: "Do what you like, & spare no pains to make it as good and well finished as you can: in fact look upon yourself as a craftsman. Also avoid vagueness: always mean something definite: nay further be sure that you have expressed something definite something which every reasonable person can understand has meaning in it. No poem is worth anything that needs explanation by the author: You must be able to force people to understand your meaning or you may as well keep your poetry to yourself. Finally so long as you really please yourself as a workman don't trouble yourself about any other success: that's the only way in which you will be likely to succeed. Also, don't expect to make money by your poetry, it isn't done."
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