Geoffrey Hill: He has none. In London, when a taxi driver who loves to talk with his passengers, asks me what I do, I tell him I am a retired university professor. It is best to leave that I am a poet to the last. The driver would collapse with total laughter while driving and that would be dangerous. The great poet has no social function. The mediocre, yes, he finds himself delivering fashionable platitudes to the public. The true poet is completely isolated.
[NB: The uncharacteristic gracelessness of the prose above, I take it, is due to the fact that it is excerpted from a interview conducted in English, published in French translation, then retranslated back into English. Just saying.]