unsettle the suburbs

We are creatures of habit; given a blank we can’t help trying to fill it in along lines of customary seeing and saying. But the best poetic lines undermine those habits, break the pre- of the –dictable, unsettle the suburbs of your routine sentiments, and rattle the tracks of your trains of thought.

—Heather McHugh, “Moving Means, Meaning Moves: Notes on Lyric Destination” Poets Teaching Poets (U. of Michigan, 1996), edited by Gregory Orr and Ellen B. Voigt

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