The market doesn’t make communities. Markets make networks of self-interested individuals, and they work as long as there’s more than enough to go around.
You begin to see that all of these things are connected: The kind of cuts that mean less environmental protection are also the kind of cuts that mean less musical education for the schools and that also mean more overcrowded schools.
As poet laureate, I was asked to be a spokesman for literature.
I teach a lecture course on American poetry to as many as 150 students. For a lot of them, it’s their only elective, so this is their one shot. They’ll take the Russian Novel or American Poetry, so I want to give them the high points, the inescapable poets.
Writing is an incessant process of discovery.
The Vietnam War and the Iraq war, in different ways, both made me feel like I could not not address them. I’m very doubtful about the usefulness of poetry to do that.
The Earth forgives the previous year every year.
When I was younger, I was so crazy about poetry that I didn’t notice who was noticing. It seemed to me so tremendous and large.
I would say Gary Snyder, who is from my part of the world as a poet and environmental thinker, will be read just as Henry Thoreau as John Muir will continue to be read.
In California in the early Spring, There are pale yellow mornings, when the mist burns slowly into day, The air stings like Autumn, clarifies like pain – Well, I have dreamed this coast myself.