I got interested in the question of literacy because writers are always moaning about why more people don’t read books.
Category Archive: Robert Hass
When I was in high school in the ’50s you were supposed to be an Elvis Presley, a James Dean, a Marlon Brando or a Kingston Trio type in a button-down shirt headed for the fraternities at Stanford or Cal.
There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings, saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry.
The first book that really knocked me out was the ‘Brothers Karamazov.’ I read it when I was a senior in high school.
All the new thinking is about loss, In this it resembles all the old thinking.
Not to make too much of a claim for poetry, but this is a question that goes to the moral heart of the business of any art: ‘How do you see the world, and what right do you have to see the world in the way that you do?’
When I was in college, I lost my scholarship one year. I had enough money for tuition, but not room and board. So I camped in the hills.
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.