People have always found me challenging – I don’t know why, when I am only being myself. I don’t understand why they find me so annoying but they do. It is pity, but that is how it is.
Little Sparta is a garden in the traditional sense. It is perhaps not like other modern gardens, but I think that other times would have had no difficulty with it.
I have often said that just as the French revolution, for instance, understood itself through antiquity, I think our time can be understood through the French revolution. It is quite a natural process to use other times to understand your own time.
But at the beginning it was clear to me that concrete poetry was peculiarly suited for using in public settings. This was my idea, but of course I never really much got the chance to do it.
The same sort of thing happened in my dispute with the National Trust book: Follies: A National Trust Guide, which implied that the only pleasure you can get from Folly architecture is by calling the architect mad, and by laughing at the architecture.
What you compose with is neither here nor there, you compose with words, or you compose with stone plants and trees, or you compose with events; the Sheriff’s officer, or whatever.
But I can only write what the muse allows me to write. I cannot choose, I can only do what I am given, and I feel pleased when I feel close to concrete poetry – still.
For me concrete poetry was a particular way of using language which came out of a particular feeling, and I don’t have control over whether this feeling is in me or not.
I am always a beginner. I only try to include different parts of life; the pastoral, the tragic, et cetera.
I am not a modern man, I am just a wee old fashioned one.