So do you need to know about the poet’s life?
It’s a sort of spectrum. At one end – the safe end – there’s persona (Robert Browning – ‘My Last Duchess’).
So I’m dreaming and in the dream, I’m thinking, this dream wouldn’t make a good poem because it’s stuck.
There are still small magazines that don’t.
That’s what my mother used to say, especially on a Sunday: today we have jests for lunch.
It can make it very difficult to take poetry seriously.