I have experienced healing through other writers’ poetry, but there’s no way I can sit down to write in the hope a poem will have healing potential. If I do, I’ll write a bad poem.
I have published in ‘The New Yorker,’ ‘Holiday,’ ‘Life,’ ‘Mademoiselle,’ ‘American Heritage,’ ‘Horizon,’ ‘The Ladies Home Journal,’ ‘The Kenyon Review,’ ‘The Sewanee Review,’ ‘Poetry,’ ‘Botteghe Oscure,’ the ‘Atlantic Monthly,’ ‘Harper’s.’
The idea of how to read a poem is based on the idea that poetry needs you as a reader. That the experience of poetry, the meaning in poetry, is a kind of circuit that takes place between a poet, a poem and a reader, and that meaning doesn’t exist or inhere in poems alone.
The only thing that can save the world is the reclaiming of the awareness of the world. That’s what poetry does.
Hence poetry is something more philosophic and of graver import than history, since its statements are rather of the nature of universals, whereas those of history are singulars.
Poetry is my cheap means of transportation. By the end of the poem the reader should be in a different place from where he started. I would like him to be slightly disoriented at the end, like I drove him outside of town at night and dropped him off in a cornfield.
Mathematics is, as it were, a sensuous logic, and relates to philosophy as do the arts, music, and plastic art to poetry.
I think the biggest thing that I have to do is to remind people that poetry is there for us to turn to not only to remind us that we’re not alone – for example, if we are grieving the loss of someone – but also to help us celebrate our joys. That’s why so many people I know who’ve gotten married will have a poem read at the wedding.
I think people turn to poetry more often than they think they do, or encounter it in more ways than they think that they do. I think we forget the places that we encounter it, say, in songs or in other little bits and pieces of things that we may have remembered from childhood.
Well I guess the plan was to write poetry and publish books and make a living from writing poetry. That was a pretty ambitious plan I guess.