From a 1936 Bread Loaf lecture on The Making of Form…
…compromises—I hate the word—never use it—My ideal and my medium are one.
The only way we see ideals in the state, in the family, in teaching and politics—is when you put them in yourself by mastery and skill—in the place for form…That does not come from looking at perfection. It means just the desire to take whatever comes to hand—whatever is in front of you and shape it. Shape is something to do with the consistency of parts, and there is this more to it—that the form you work in has got almost to have some relation to the larger form around you or it is not “national” enough.
If some one should say, “but I haven’t lived in an interesting way”—I would simply put them on the operating table and begin to take rabbits out of them.
The only ideals I have any interest in are the forms that I try to achieve and they are not perfect. You can read better poems than mine.