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.
When you put a book together and arrange it, there’s a lot of anxiety and turmoil about what order the poems should be in.
Poems, for me, begin as a social engagement. I want to establish a kind of sociability or even hospitality at the beginning of a poem. The title and the first few lines are a kind of welcome mat where I am inviting the reader inside.
When I became poet laureate, I was in a slightly uncomfortable position because I think a lot of poetry isn’t worth reading.
Radio is such a perfect medium for the transmission of poetry, primarily because there just is the voice, there’s no visual distraction.