The Vice of Surrealism
The first study for the man who wants to be a poet is knowledge of
himself, complete: he searches for his soul, he inspects it, he puts it to
the test, he learns it. As soon as he has learned it, he must cultivate it!
I say that one must be a seer, make oneself a seer.
The poet becomes a seer through a long, immense, and reasoned
derangement of all the senses. All shapes of love suffering, madness. He
searches himself, he exhausts all poisons in himself, to keep only the
quintessences. Ineffable torture where he needs all his faith, all his
superhuman strength, where he becomes among all men the great
patient, the great criminal, the great accursed one--and the supreme
Scholar! For he reaches the unknown!
....So the poet is actually a thief of Fire
Arthur Rimbaud, The Letter of the Seer, May 15, 1871