I’m saying look, here they come, pay attention. Let your eyes transform what appears ordinary, commonplace, into what it is, a moment in time, an observed fragment of eternity.
For sure I once thought of myself as the poet who would save the ordinary from oblivion.
I was very lucky to have a mother who encouraged me to become a poet.
Back then, I couldn’t have left a poem a year and gone back to it.
My father died when I was five, but I grew up in a strong family.
I realized poetry’s the thing that I can do ’cause I can stick at it and work with tremendous intensity.
My sense of a poem – my notion of how you revise – is: you get yourself into a state where what you are intensely conscious of is not why you wrote it or how you wrote it, but what you wrote.
I’m seventy-one now, so it’s hard to imagine a dramatic change.
No one can write like Vallejo and not sound like a fraud. He’s just too much himself and not you.
The irony is, going to work every day became the subject of probably my best poetry.