I always had good recognition from the Southern writers, but the publishers never took any notice of that.
It was the enchantment of spoken verse that led me to write for children.
I have published so many books in so many years. I can’t complain about any lack of attention. But I’ve never been placed as a Southern writer, which I really am. So I was happy finally to be published by someone in the South.
As any parent, teacher, or librarian knows, there is no richer experience than to see children’s faces light up at the suspense of a new tale or the surprise of a new poem. The uninhibited joy with which they listen is surely akin to that of adult audiences of old around campfire and hearth.
I have felt at times with groups of children that I was really being what every poet would like to be – a bard in the old sense.
To Tennessee Williams we owe a special debt. In a tragic age, he has transformed loneliness by naming it for us, suffered sordidness with beauty, graced poor hurt lives with love and pity.
To the poet, his travels, his adventures, his loves, his indignations are finally resolved in verse, and this, in the end becomes his permanent, indestructible life.
I have always used a great variety of verse forms, especially in my poetry for children. I believe that poetry begins in childhood and that a poet who can remember his own childhood exactly can, and should, communicate to children.
A fresh and vigorous weed, always renewed and renewing, it will cut its wondrous way through rubbish and rubble.
I believe that poetry should communicate.