"Deep down, in the central laboratory, there is neither laughter nor tears, neither pain nor joy. I'm speaking, always, about poets. In the end, I suspect, the poet is the man for whom pain isn't a reality. The English say that poets learn through suffering what they will teach by singing. But the poet will never accept that suffering as real, and the proof is that he metamorphoses it, gives it another purpose. And that is precisely what I mean about that kind of pain you suffer and know isn't real. It has no power over you because it's filtered through a prism and transformed into a poem. The poet enjoys himself as he does it, like playing with a cat that scratches his hands. Pain is only real for the person who suffers it as a fatality-- or contingency-- by giving it citizenship, allowing it into his soul. Essentially, the poet never admits pain. He suffers-- but he is some other person standing at the foot of the bed watching himself suffer. All the time he's thinking that outside, the sun is shining."
-- from 'Final Exam'; Julio Cortázar