From the essay by Susan Elizabeth Howe, 'May Swenson's Spiritual Quest':
As early as her college years, she told her friend, "religion... seems like redundancy for a poet", implying that the work of the poet somehow overlaps with or is similar to the wold of religion. In "The Poet as Antispecialist" in 1965, Swenson quoted Aldous Huxley: "The world is poetical intrinsically, and what it means is simply itself. Its significance is the enormous mystery of its existence and of our awareness of its existence". She then elaborated further:
We or what are we? Why are we? And what are we becoming? What is the relationship between man and the universe? Those are questions that ached in the mind of the first poet. They can be said to have created the first poet, and to be the source of the art of poetry. Does the fact of our consciousness, unique and seemingly miraculous among all of nature's creatures, a priori indicate a superconsciousness shaping and manipulating the cosmos?