I’m pretty much all for poetry in public places – poetry on buses, poetry on subways, on billboards, on cereal boxes.
There are interesting forms of difficulty, and there are unprofitable forms of difficulty. I mean, I enjoy some difficult poetry, but some of it is impenetrable and I actually wouldn’t want to penetrate it if I could, perhaps.
I first came across ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’ in college, with other anthologized poems by Yeats.
Cummings’ career as a writer – and a painter – was as wobbly as his love life. He tried his hand at playwriting, satirical essays, and even a dance scenario for Lincoln Kirsten.
The poem is not, as someone put it, deflective of entry. But the real question is, ‘What happens to the reader once he or she gets inside the poem?’ That’s the real question for me, is getting the reader into the poem and then taking the reader somewhere, because I think of poetry as a kind of form of travel writing.
Poetry is my cheap means of transportation. By the end of the poem the reader should be in a different place from where he started. I would like him to be slightly disoriented at the end, like I drove him outside of town at night and dropped him off in a cornfield.
The worst thing about war was the sitting around and wondering what you were doing morally.
I am a nonparticipant of social media. I’m not much attracted to anything that involves the willing forfeiture of privacy and the foregrounding of insignificance.
If you write a letter of resignation or something with an agenda, you’re simply using a pen to record what you have thought out. In a poem, the pen is more like a flashlight, a Geiger counter, or one of those metal detectors that people walk around beaches with.
The obituaries shot up to the top of my list when I discovered Robert McG. Thomas, the ‘Times’ obit writer who redesigned its traditional form and added a measure of stylistic elegance.