Humans are remarkable: the first species in almost four billion years of life on earth that dominates the biosphere. This gives us the power, in principle, to build societies in which everyone flourishes. But it also creates great dangers because it is not clear that we really understand how to use our potentially devastating powers.
I was born in New York City in 1926, four years after my parents and my brother migrated to the United States from the city of Odessa in Russia.
Unfortunately, poetry is not born in noise, in crowds, or on a bus. There have to be four walls and the certainty that the telephone will not ring. That’s what writing is all about.
Four of my children are daughters, and I’ve watched them devote themselves to reading books about how little girls learn to become women – how they learn to deal with boys and men, and the different hurdles females have to go over.
If there are four equations and only three variables, and no one of the equations is derivable from the others by algebraic manipulation then there is another variable missing.
I know that two and two make four – and should be glad to prove it too if I could – though I must say if by any sort of process I could convert 2 and 2 into five it would give me much greater pleasure.
I haven’t written anything in four years. I’m sort of dried up.
I say let’s go back to a truer use of the word ‘freedom.’ Let’s start with President Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear. I would add the freedom to bargain collectively. Those freedoms are under attack today.
Is it not careless to become too local when there are four hundred billion stars in our galaxy alone.
Maybe there are three or four really good poets in a generation.