I may go to a book (poems or prose or fiction) to read new evocations or descriptions of what I already know, believe, feel; or I may go in order to discover new perspectives, previously unkown or unfamiliar ways of thinking, feeling, belief.

But if I am too eager for the one and encounter the other, I probably won’t like the work — it’ll have nothing to do with the quality of the writing or the value of the thinking, the depths of feeling and everything to do with my own expectations, needs, tastes of the moment. I may dismiss the work utterly simply because we are mismatched just then: twenty-four hours earlier or later, and it might have become a seminal and life-changing work.