The metropolis reveals itself as one of those great historical formations in which opposing streams which enclose life unfold, as well as join one another with equal right.
You begin to see that all of these things are connected: The kind of cuts that mean less environmental protection are also the kind of cuts that mean less musical education for the schools and that also mean more overcrowded schools.
As poet laureate, I was asked to be a spokesman for literature.
I teach a lecture course on American poetry to as many as 150 students. For a lot of them, it’s their only elective, so this is their one shot. They’ll take the Russian Novel or American Poetry, so I want to give them the high points, the inescapable poets.
The metropolis has always been the seat of the money economy.
The individual has become a mere cog in an enormous organization of things and powers which tear from his hands all progress, spirituality, and value in order to transform them from their subjective form into the form of a purely objective life.
Every superior personality, and every superior performance, has, for the average of mankind, something mysterious.
Writing is an incessant process of discovery.
The Vietnam War and the Iraq war, in different ways, both made me feel like I could not not address them. I’m very doubtful about the usefulness of poetry to do that.
The deepest problems of modern life derive from the claim of the individual to preserve the autonomy and individuality of his existence in the face of overwhelming social forces, of historical heritage, of external culture, and of the technique of life.