‘Imagine Flaubert with a wife and four children,
a bread-and-butter job at the University,
worries about taxes and high blood-pressure,’ is the first stanza of a poem (Author, Author) by Michael Hofmann.
Read it here.
Next stanza starts with the line:
‘All obligations are a curse for the writer.’
A curse and a blessing.
As Hofmann writes: ‘A few steamy hours, then years of correspondence: promised meetings.’
Taxes, promised meetings, a few steamy hours, a dozen novels or so and some immortality based on a misunderstanding.