In my opinion, it is easier to avoid iambic rhythms, when writing in syllabics, if you create a line or pattern of lines using odd numbers of syllables.
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 real literary editors have mostly been fired. Those that remain are all ‘bottom line’ editors; everything depends on the money.
Marvin Bell always looked very closely at how lines could break, how you could put over one line into the second line. How you could stop the line two or three times within the line: You could make it stop.
Humanity is still advancing; and it will probably continue to advance for hundreds of thousands of years more, always on condition that we know how to keep the same line of advance as our ancestors towards ever greater consciousness and complexity.
The ones who were negotiating are now on the front line of this intifada, because they found that the negotiations didn’t give them the minimum of their rights.
Every person remembers some moment in their life where they witnessed some injustice, big or small, and looked away because the consequences of intervening seemed too intimidating. But there’s a limit to the amount of incivility and inequality and inhumanity that each individual can tolerate. I crossed that line. And I’m no longer alone.
Emily Dickinson seems rather tame because she pretty much uses the same meter every time. It’s called ‘common meter.’ It’s a line of four beats that’s followed by a line of three beats.
I see a direct line between Kennedy and Richard Nixon and the opening to China and the detente with the Soviet Union.
I think what gets a poem going is an initiating line. Sometimes a first line will occur, and it goes nowhere; but other times – and this, I think, is a sense you develop – I can tell that the line wants to continue.