In about the mid-90s I read part of a book of literary criticism by a poet (so focused mainly on poetry and poetic theory) where he said that poets lack a personality and often collect trinkets to give them one, also that the collecting of such objects often has to do with finding things that evoke a feeling or thought that fuels their art. By trinkets I mean actual trinkets, playing cards, fancy combs - whatever. The poet of course had some examples in his book of such trinkets but I don't remember the exact trinkets he discussed.
By lack of personality they meant that the poet as a person without personality is able to fit into all sorts of situations and feelings that others cannot because hampered by this very existence of personality, but feeling the lack they are also driven to continually try to fill it, by gathering said trinkets. The trinkets also thus work as a spark for the poet's creativity.
From my very hazy memories of the poet and the book I believe the book was probably somewhere from the 80s, and was from a poet that seemed like someone probably from the late 60s - 70s generation of poets. He gave me a Gary Snyder type of feel, but definitely wasn't Snyder. He was a poet that was unknown to me - I am pretty well read up until the early 60s. In response to a request from the comments I will note that he wasn't Ginsberg either.
Any ideas who this could be? What book? Relevant quotes?
On Edit - to reply to question in comments: I used to have a habit of grabbing multiple books at the same time around the area I was interested in and sitting there and reading, this was poetics basically.
Obviously my memory of these details might not be totally correct, as it was a long time ago, but it was a book by a poet, not an anthology, it might have been partially collected critical essays or writings on poetry but the major part of the book was an argument for a theory of poetics the poet had. The book was relatively thin given the subject matter, although I guess most people would call it a medium sized book.
The poet's picture was on the back dust-cover, I remember that he had male pattern baldness, black and white photo, looked to be in 40s despite being bald, had glasses. His hair in the back was long. So like an aging hippie.