I’ve made an odd discovery. Every time I talk to a savant I feel quite sure that happiness is no longer a possibility. Yet when I talk with my gardener, I’m convinced of the opposite.
Though my poems are about evenly split between traditionally formal work that uses rhyme and meter and classical structure, and work that is freer, I feel that the music of language remains at the core of it all. Sound, rhythm, repetition, compression – these elements of my poetry are also elements of my prose.
Sometimes I feel as if I am read before I write. When I write a poem about my mother, Palestinians think my mother is a symbol for Palestine. But I write as a poet, and my mother is my mother. She’s not a symbol.
I mean, every thought starts over, so every expression of a thought has to do the same. every accuracy has to be invented… I feel I am blundering in concepts too fine for me.
I feel as if I were a piece in a game of chess, when my opponent says of it: That piece cannot be moved.
If a man urge me to tell wherefore I loved him, I feel it cannot be expressed but by answering: Because it was he, because it was myself.
I feel that I am a citizen of the American dream and that the revolutionary struggle of which I am a part is a struggle against the American nightmare.
I feel most alive, most electric with faith, breath, and courage, when I think of God as a current that runs through all that is. Not by will or by choice. Not as a benediction but because there are laws even God must obey.
I feel that God has given me a very special opportunity that I should not let go to waste. I use the gift he has given me.
And all the charms of face or voice Which I in others see, Are but the recollected choice Of what I feel for thee.