When I first came to Harvard, I thought to myself, ‘What kind of an Indian am I?’ because I did not grow up on a reservation. But being an Indian is a combination of things. It’s your blood. It’s your spirituality. And it’s fighting for the Indian people.
For forty years, I have devoted myself to the cause of the people’s revolution with but one aim in view – the elevation of China to a position of freedom and equality among the nations.
I feel myself part of something. Not only being part of a community but part of an actual moment and a movement of Irish writing and art. That sense of being part of the whole thing is the deepest joy.
Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.
The major poets of New Jersey have all suffered, whether it’s Whitman, who lost his job for ‘Leaves of Grass,’ or William Carlos Williams, who was called a communist, or Ginsberg, whose ‘Howl’ was prosecuted, or myself. If you practise poetry the way I think it needs to be done, you’re going to put yourself in jeopardy.
I’m a poster child for Luddites. It was a challenge for me to open myself up the tech world.
I consider myself a political revolutionary humanist.
I personally don’t think of myself as either an optimist or a pessimist.
Henceforth I ask not good fortune. I myself am good fortune.
No one wants to be beaten, even myself.