Fear

October 5, 2019

I asked the poet Tony Hoagland what he thought about fear. He said fear was the ghost of an experience: we fear the recurrence of a pain we once felt, and in this way fear is like a hangover. The memory of our pain is a pain unto itself, and thus feeds our fear like a foyer with mirrors on both sides. And then he quoted Auden:

And ghosts must do again
What gives them pain.

Mary Ruefle
On Fear: Our positive capability

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