Prior to Wordsworth, humor was an essential part of poetry. I mean, they don't call them Shakespeare comedies for nothing.
I think humor is a very serious thing. I use it as a way of weakening the reader's defenses so that I can more easily take him to something more.
Beloved, till life can charm no more; And mourned, till Pity's self be dead.
Always mistrust a subordinate who never finds fault with his superior.
By fairy hands their knell is rung; By forms unseen their dirge is sung.
How sleep the brave, who sink to rest, By all their country's wishes blest!
In numbers warmly pure and sweetly strong.
Words like feminism or democracy scare me. They are words with barnacles on them, and you can't see what's underneath.
When a writer becomes a reader of his or her own work, a lot can go wrong. It's like do-it-yourself dentistry.