Of the individual poems, some are more lyric and some are more descriptive or narrative. Each poem is fixed in a moment. All those moments written or read together take on the movement and architecture of a narrative.
I lived in the studio apartment that I bought for four years before I bought it in 1989, so I was already in it. I began living there in 1985, so I’ve had the same address and phone number since then.
I don’t know whether a poem has be there to help to develop something. I think it’s there for itself, for what the reader finds in it.
Given the devaluation of literature and of the study of foreign languages per se in the United States, as well as the preponderance of theory over text in graduate literature studies, creative writing programs keep literature courses populated.
I try to write everyday. I do that much better over here than when I’m teaching. I always rewrite, usually fairly close-on which is to say first draft, then put it aside for 24 hours then more drafts.
Good writing gives energy, whatever it is about.
We sometimes received – and I would read – 200 manuscripts a week. Some of them were wonderful, some were terrible; most were mediocre. It was like the gifts of the good and bad fairies.
When you translate poetry in particular, you’re obliged to look at how the writer with whom you’re working puts together words, sentences, phrases, the triple tension between the line of verse, the syntax and the sentence.
I started to send my work to journals when I was 26, which was just a question of when I got the courage up. They were mostly journals I had been reading for the previous six or seven years.