“He merely writes to vent his own spleen, his own bitterness, his own sense of the disparity between the ugliness of the world that is and the beauty of the world that might be.
“He is trapped in a mechanical civilization. Everywhere about his are steel cages and the futile voices… to be part of civilization is to be part of its ugliness and haste and economic barbarism. It is to be a butterfly on the wheel.
“But a poet is born. He is born in spite of the civilization. When, therefore, he is born into this apathetic and hostile civilization, he will react in the only way possible way, he will become the poet of his own spleen, the victim of his own frustrated sense of beauty, the prophet of despair.”
Herbert Read, Phases of English Poetry, 1928 (or should that be 1976?)