Mary Karr on the "community of the word":
It’s the cathedral. I was totally without any kind of faith–I didn’t have a mystical bone in my body growing up. I thought God was like the Easter Bunny, I was probably in the fourth grade before I realized that people were really serious that they believed all this stuff. But I believed in the church of poetry. I believed that it was Eucharistic. You take someone’s words into your body–it is like you take their passion, their suffering into yourself–and you’re changed by it. You know, Shelley would say that the feeling humanizes you more, but you become in Cavafy’s phrase a “citizen of the city of ideas.” I was a very lonely, strange little girl in a kind of backwater town. You know, I had a crush on J. Alfred Prufrock, I mean I was a pitiful little thing. Of all the people. The other girls were ogling the lifeguard at the pool and I was saying “indeed” to try to sound British. So I was a little misfit, and getting to read these writers, these poets mostly, it was majestic. It was magnificent… You can have the entire artistic experience in one sitting, in one mouthful, in one moment.More Mary Karr here.