A Plague of Poets

Carolyn D. Wright

A question posed to Flannery O'Connor, as to whether writing
programs stifled writers, drew the famous, tart rejoinder that 
in her opinion they didn't stifle nearly enough.

Even if, as it is often said, there are too many of us—poets,
that is—that the field is too crowded (as opposed to too many
hedge-fund managers or too many pharmaceutical lobbyists
or too many fundamentalists), time, rejection, 
discouragement, and the inevitable practicalities and detours
(some of them fortuitous), as well as wasted energy, the slow 
seepage or sudden shift of interest, premature death, 
burdensome debt or better offers, usually cure the problem of 
overpopulation. In other words, there are plenty of natural