Every now and then, I strike something that just goes click, you know, in my head. As Gertrude Stein used to say, it rings the bell, and I feel, this is great.
I think that concrete poetry seems to have, as far as I can see, come to a kind of a dead end. It doesn’t seem to be going any further than it went in its high period of about five or six years ago.
I do read everything that we publish. We usually have to have two or three votes for a book before we take it on. So in that sense I suppose it is an orchestra.
The German experience, as you can see, did move me very much. Seeing that terrible destruction and seeing the miserable state of the people, how they had been beaten down by the war through no fault of their own probably.
I try to write in plain brown blocks of American speech but occasionally set in an ancient word or a strange word just to startle the reader a little bit and to break up the monotony of the plain American cadence.
I think there’s no excuse for the American poetry reader not knowing a good deal about what is going on in the rest of the world.
We don’t attempt to have any theme for a number of the anthology, or to have any particular sequence. We just put in things that we like, and then we try to alternate the prose and the poetry.
Of course a poem is a two-way street. No poem is any good if it doesn’t suggest to the reader things from his own mind and recollection that he will read into it, and will add to what the poet has suggested. But I do think poetry readings are very important.
I think most people read and re-read the things that they have liked. That’s certainly true in my case. I re-read Pound a great deal, I re-read Williams, I re-read Thomas, I re-read the people whom I cam to love when I was at what you might call a formative stage.
I think one ages and one dates. I tend to have a good deal of difficulty in liking some of the new poets.