When you say ‘I want to be an inspiring leader,’ the operative phrase is ‘I want.’ This is inherently me-centered and self serving whether or not you recognise it. What you are really saying is ‘I want to get people to do what I would like them to.’ Perhaps they don’t want to do that. So you have to somehow get them there.
What I try to do is to go into a poem – and one writes them, of course, poem by poem – to go into each poem, first of all without having any sense whatsoever of where it’s going to end up.
Before you can follow your own drummer, you have to hear the drummer.
I don’t think I could have thought of any place other than Stanford to leave Harvard for.
The idea of being able to serve as an example, based upon how to process, how to think, how to realize our own dreams, we can pass that down to our children.
I met Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley on the same day in 1968. I was sixteen at the time. Very exciting. They were reading at Armagh. One of my teachers brought me to meet them, introduced me, and I became friends with them.
I come from a long line of revolutionaries.
I am a member of the Muskogee people. I’m a poet, a musician, a dreamer of sorts, a questioner. Like everyone else, I’m looking for answers of some sort or the other.
When the flower blossoms, the bee will come.
Believe it or not, one of the first poets I was aware of was Yeats. I recited ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’ at a verse speaking competition when I was eight or nine.