Since the intervention in Afghanistan, we suddenly began to notice when, in political discussions, we found ourselves only among Europeans or Israelis.
My own journey in becoming a poet began with memory – with the need to record and hold on to what was being lost. One of my earliest poems, ‘Give and Take,’ was about my Aunt Sugar, how I was losing her to her memory loss.
When I began to be published, people got the idea that I should ‘teach writing,’ which I have no idea how to do and don’t really believe in.
Feminism began to dawn on my brain belatedly in life.
Private property began the instant somebody had a mind of his own.
However, I began to submit poems to British magazines, and some were accepted. It was a great moment to see my first poems published. It felt like entering a tradition.
Starting in the early 1800s, Southerners in the United States began to defend slavery as their ‘peculiar institution,’ and northerners didn’t mind, since the phrase suggested that chattel bondage was quarantined from the rest of the nation: that it was, or soon would be, a relic of its past and would not define its future.
Have you ever thought how humiliating and distressing it was to be placed upon a sphere? For friendship it is a boon never to be able to be further apart than the antipodes. But suppose that you are leaving together to go on and on; it is impossible. To go beyond a certain point is to return to where you began.
When I began to listen to poetry, it’s when I began to listen to the stones, and I began to listen to what the clouds had to say, and I began to listen to others. And I think, most importantly for all of us, then you begin to learn to listen to the soul, the soul of yourself in here, which is also the soul of everyone else.
When I began writing, I didn’t read any other children’s poets… I didn’t want to be influenced until I’d found my own voice. Now I read them all.