The thing that’s depressing is teaching graduate students today and discovering that they don’t know simple elemental facts of grammar. They really do not know how to scan a line; they’ve never been taught to scan a line. Many of them don’t know the difference between ‘lie’ and ‘lay,’ let alone ‘its’ and ‘it’s.’ And they’re in graduate school!
My first hero, as a teenager, was James Connolly. I remember discovering that he was a feminist, and that was an eye-opener, coming from a man of such poverty.
Discovering Samuel Beckett in college was a big deal for me. I realized you could be very funny and very dark at the same time.
I define poetry as celebration and confrontation. When we witness something, are we responsible for what we witness? That’s an on-going existential question. Perhaps we are and perhaps there’s a kind of daring, a kind of necessary energetic questioning. Because often I say it’s not what we know, it’s what we can risk discovering.
Younger people are discovering my work, even though my reggae is not like theirs.
Every social justice movement that I know of has come out of people sitting in small groups, telling their life stories, and discovering that other people have shared similar experiences.
Discovering witnesses is just as important as catching criminals.
I perceive myself as rather uninhibited, with a certain mathematical facility and more interest in the broad aspect of a problem than the delicate nuances. I am more interested in discovering what is over the next rise than in assiduously cultivating the beautiful garden close at hand.
I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.