Yes indeed, and I’m impressed that you know Foucault.

This poem has five allusions and/or references in it. I never know if readers recognize these or not. If so, they rarely point them out.

I see literature as a quarry to be mined. The chunks found there, I incorporate into my poems. To me this is putting Pound’s mantra, MAKE IT NEW, to work, as I explained in this article.

I rarely italicize or put quotation marks on these borrowed chunks. I assume a literate audience. If they don’t recognize them, it doesn’t matter. My poem, if I made it new, should stand on its own merits.

I think many writers don’t understand what originality means. They think every punctuation mark they use has to be unique to them. That incorrect belief stultifies them. They are terrified of plagiarism.

Plagiarism is a bugaboo. It’s only real if you quote verbatim large pieces of other people’s work and then put your name on it. Lines, sentences, words, phrases and images are fair game, if you MAKE IT NEW.

As T. S. Eliot said, “good writers borrow, great writers steal.”

Thanks for reading.

Honorary Schizophrenic. Recent refugee. Displaced person. Old white male. Confidant of cassowaries.

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