Evolution, cell biology, biochemistry, and developmental biology have made extraordinary progress in the last hundred years – much of it since I was weaned on schoolboy biology in the 1930s. Most striking of all is the sudden eruption of molecular biology starting in the 1950s.
For a Jewish Puritan of the middle class, the novel is serious, the novel is work, the novel is conscientious application why, the novel is practically the retail business all over again.
I never abandoned either forms or freedom. I imagine that most of what could be called free verse is in my first book. I got through that fairly early.
Poetry is a sort of homecoming.
Inner city education must change. Our responsibility is not merely to provide access to knowledge; we must produce educated people.
We, who are the living, possess the past. Tomorrow is for our martyrs.
Language is remarkable, except under the extreme constraints of mathematics and logic, it never can talk only about what it’s supposed to talk about but is always spreading around.
The historian is terribly responsible to what he can discern are the facts of the case, but he’s nothing if he doesn’t make out a case.
I liked the kid who wrote me that he had to do a term paper on a modern poet and he was doing me because, though they say you have to read poems twice, he found he could handle mine in one try.
We are dealing with the best-educated generation in history. But they’ve got a brain dressed up with nowhere to go.