New poems no longer come to me with their prodigies of metaphor and assonance. Prose endures. I feel the circles grow smaller, and old age is a ceremony of losses, which is, on the whole, preferable to dying at forty-seven or fifty-two.
I have written some poetry and two prose books about baseball, but if I had been a rich man, I probably would not have written many of the magazine essays that I have had to do. But, needing to write magazine essays to support myself, I looked to things that I cared about and wanted to write about, and certainly baseball was one of them.
On September twentieth every year, I got to choose my menu – meatloaf, corn niblets, and rice were followed by candles on chocolate cake with vanilla icing and a scoop of Brock-Hall ice cream.
When I was 12, I had a fondness for horror movies like the ‘Wolfman.’ The boy next door said I should read Poe.
Many times I have written something, and after it was published, I understood what I was saying.
When I finished my initial year at Oxford, I flew home to marry Kirby, who had been my girlfriend in college. We had met on a blind date.
My problem isn’t death but old age. I fret about my lack of balance, my buckling knee, my difficulty standing up and sitting down.
It used to be that one poet in each generation performed poems in public. In the twenties, it was Vachel Lindsay, who sometimes dropped to his knees in the middle of a poem. Then Robert Frost took over, and made his living largely on the road.
Friends die, friends become demented, friends quarrel, friends drift with old age into silence.
I would work until I got stuck, and I would put it down and pick up something else. I might be able to take a 20-minute nap and get to work again. That way, I was able to work about 10 hours a day… It was important to me to work every day. I managed to work on Christmas day, just to be able to say I worked 365 days a year.