I’m very aware of the presence of a reader, and that probably is a reaction against a lot of poems that I do read which seem oblivious to my presence as a reader.
The crucial thing in any work of any kind is that it must be a gift – the reader must possess it even more than the person who wrote it. It must be given completely.
Naturally I drew register a little exaggerated, in order to create something new in the sense of a sublime literature that sings of despair only in order to oppress the reader, and make him desire the good as the remedy.
The writer’s object is – or should be – to hold the reader’s attention.
Hypocrite reader my fellow my brother!
I usually write for the individual reader -though I would like to have many such readers. There are some poets who write for people assembled in big rooms, so they can live through something collectively. I prefer my reader to take my poem and have a one-on-one relationship with it.
Almost anything is too much. I am trying in my poems to have the reader be the experiencer. I do not want to be there. It is not even a walk we take together.
However, intention needn’t enter in, and if a reader sees things in a religious way, and the work is dogmatically acceptable, then I don’t see why it should not be interpreted in that way, as well as in others.
I do insist on making what I hope is sense so there’s always a coherent narrative or argument that the reader can follow.
I think it’s good not to make demands on the reader too early. But as the poem goes on, I want the journey of the poem to lead into some interesting places.