I think humans have always felt watched back by whatever is out there flickering in the distance. What excites me is what the imagination creates, not simply in explanation of what is there but also to explain or justify the feeling of awe and attachment that the heavens inspire.
At first I threw my weight upon my heels, as one does naturally in a boot, and was a good deal bruised, but after a few hours I learned the natural walk of man, and could follow my guide in any portion of the island.
Lord, confound this surly sister, blight her brow with blotch and blister, cramp her larynx, lung and liver, in her guts a galling give her.
A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, he said, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn’t. But we do be afraid of the sea, and we do only be drownded now and again.
When my father died, those years when he was working on the Hubble came back to me, and it seemed fitting to imagine him as having somehow merged with the large mystery that the universe represents.
I don’t know how anyone can see the Hubble ‘Deep Field’ image and not feel like something else is going about its business out there.
I work with a lot of young people who have poems that are changing their lives, that they’re eager to talk about, but every now and then when I meet someone, maybe someone of my parents’ generation, and I tell them that I write poetry, they’ll begin to recite something that they memorized when they were in school that has never left them.
We all need poetry. The moments in our lives that are characterized by language that has to do with necessity or the market, or just, you know, things that take us away from the big questions that we have, those are the things that I think urge us to think about what a poem can offer.
I had written here and there about my mother in my poems. There are poems for her in my first and second books.
One of my main wishes in wanting to write about my mother was to explore the impact of her death on my life, explore our relationship, think about the different versions of myself that I was with and without her. I also had the really strong wish to bring her to life for my children, who were born after she was gone.