There is much to be said in favor of an established form, whether blank verse, heroic couplet, or any other. Instead of striving for an original personal form, at the risk of achieving no such thing, the poet employs a given form; he may then devote all his efforts to making it express everything he has to say. With rare exceptions, the more original a poet is, the less he considers it a limitation to employ a given form; furthermore, by continually working with the same form, he will exercise his mind to think easily and naturally within it and will become sensitive to the subtlest variations of which this form is capable.

W.H. Auden, translated from the French by Christine Lalou

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