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.
When you have children, you realize how easy it is to not see them fully, and perhaps miss all those early years. If you are not careful, you can be too absorbed in work, and they will be only too happy to tell you about it later. Being a parent is one of greatest mindfulness practices of all.
I was born left-handed, but I was made to use my other hand. When I was writing ‘Famished Road,’ which was very long, I got repetitive stress syndrome. My right wrist collapsed, so I started using my left hand. The prose I wrote with my left hand came out denser, so later on I had to change it.
Even the acceptance of personal responsibility may not overcome the temptation to believe that now is not the time to repent. ‘Now’ can seem so difficult, and ‘later’ appear so much easier. The truth is that today is always a better day to repent than any tomorrow.
What I had later learned was that the FBI knew I was going to New York a couple days after the raid.
Pound’s translation of Chinese poetry was maybe the most important thing I read. Eliot a little bit later.
I think there was a revolution in poetry, associated chiefly with Eliot and Pound; but maybe it is of the nature of revolutions or of the nature of history that their innovations should later come to look trivial or indistinguishable from technical tricks.
Universal orthodoxy is enriched by every new discovery of truth: what at first appeared universal, by wishing to stand still, sooner or later becomes a sect.
The battle was first waged over the right of the Negro to be classed as a human being with a soul; later, as to whether he had sufficient intellect to master even the rudiments of learning; and today it is being fought out over his social recognition.
Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on.