All those authors there, most of whom of course I’ve never met. That’s the poetry side, that’s the prose side, that’s the fishing and miscellaneous behind me. You get an affection for books that you’ve enjoyed.
But you’d have a job to find many of my poems which would seem to be very influenced by a particular person.
When I was a teacher, teachers would come into my classroom and admire my desk on which lay nothing whatever, whereas theirs were heaped with papers and books.
If I wrote a play with four characters every single one of them would talk like me regardless of age or sex.
And the second question, can poetry be taught? I didn’t think so.
There are some friends you don’t meet for twenty years and when you meet them again it’s as if no twenty years has happened – you’re lucky when that happens. I feel the same about books.
It’s like breathing in and out to me. It’s like having a conversation with someone who isn’t there. Because it has to be addressed to somebody – not a particular person, or very rarely.
I’m very gregarious, but I love being in the hills on my own.
I used to have a great love for Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, the big boys of the last century.
Well, I love fishing. I wouldn’t kill a fly myself but I’ve no hesitation in killing a fish. A lot of men are like that. No bother. Out you come. Thump. And that’s not the only reason.