For a Jewish Puritan of the middle class, the novel is serious, the novel is work, the novel is conscientious application why, the novel is practically the retail business all over again.
I never abandoned either forms or freedom. I imagine that most of what could be called free verse is in my first book. I got through that fairly early.
Language is remarkable, except under the extreme constraints of mathematics and logic, it never can talk only about what it’s supposed to talk about but is always spreading around.
The historian is terribly responsible to what he can discern are the facts of the case, but he’s nothing if he doesn’t make out a case.
I liked the kid who wrote me that he had to do a term paper on a modern poet and he was doing me because, though they say you have to read poems twice, he found he could handle mine in one try.
I have a plot, but not much happens.
I think there was a revolution in poetry, associated chiefly with Eliot and Pound; but maybe it is of the nature of revolutions or of the nature of history that their innovations should later come to look trivial or indistinguishable from technical tricks.
Occasionally a student writer comes up with something really beautiful and moving, and you won’t know for years if it was an accident or the first burst of something wonderful.
I sometimes talk about the making of a poem within the poem.
Obvious enough that generalities work to protect the mind from the great outdoors; is it possible that this was in fact their first purpose?