In a poem, the words happen; they just come. I let them. Otherwise, I wouldn’t write. To interfere with what is happening is to distort the poem. Just a very small degree of intelligence and supervision is necessary. Very tactful. Any revision later that violates the text as it came, that begins rewriting the words, is fake.
I could wear makeup today, and one person would say it looks bland, another would say it looks fake, and another might tell me I look really natural. Everyone is convinced their opinion is the truth, and that’s what I struggle against.
After all, it is hard to master both life and work equally well. So if you are bound to fake one of them, it had better be life.
Robert Frost had always said you mustn’t think of the last line first, or it’s only a fake poem, not a real one. I’m inclined to agree.
The idea that you can dress up in some kind of a fake Indian outfit and get on stage is somehow acceptable in this country. That has to do with the fact that you have the Redskins, the Braves, you have people who dress up like Indians, people dress up like Indians on Halloween. That is acceptable.