When I discovered the lyric poem, that advanced not by narrative steps but by blocks and layers of imagery, I said, ‘Gee, I probably could do that. So let me try that.’
I’ll listen to anything authentic whether it’s bluegrass or gospel or blues.
I think my poems are slightly underrated by the word ‘accessible.’
One of the disadvantages of poetry over popular music is that if you write a pop song, it naturally gets into people’s heads as they listen in the car. You don’t have to memorize a Paul Simon song; it’s just in your head, and you can sing along. With a poem, you have to will yourself to memorize it.
The disappointing second novel is measured against the brilliant first novel – often no novel lives up to the first. Literary improvement seems like an unfair expectation.
Now that I’m older, a real source of interest is the ages of the dead, the number; the day is off to an optimistic start when the departed are all older than I.
I think ‘accessible’ just means that the reader can walk into the poem without difficulty. The poem is not, as someone put it, deflective of entry.
I don’t write for an auditorium full of people. I don’t write for the microphone; I write for the page.
To a poet, it’s quite ruinous to have a poem distorted, out of shape, or squeezed, shall we say, into this tiny screen. But I’m not sure big digital companies are sensitive to the needs of poets.
Some honor Cummings as the granddaddy of all American innovators in poetry and ascribe to him a diverse progeny that includes virtually any poet who considers the page a field and allows silence to be part of poetry’s expressiveness.