My father read poetry to me, encouraged me to memorize poems. But the writing of it was quite a different thing.
It would be so simple to allow children, when tired of sitting, to rise, and when tired of writing, to desist, and then their bones would not be twisted.
I liked to write from the time I was about 12 or 13. I loved to read. And since I only spoke to my brother, I would write down my thoughts. And I think I wrote some of the worst poetry west of the Rockies. But by the time I was in my 20s, I found myself writing little essays and more poetry – writing at writing.
I did try to write stories in college because I was interested in writing, and I was interested in the sound of language, but I was just no good at narrative and at fiction.
Good sense is both the first principal and the parent source of good writing.
When you begin to write poems because you love language, because you love poetry. Something happens that makes you write poems. And the writing of poems is incredibly pleasurable and addictive.
It is not important for me as a writer that you leave a piece of writing of mine with either an agreement or even a resonance with what I have said. What is important is that you leave with the resonance of what you have felt and what you thought in reaction to that.
Jazz is very important. It’s not something I can put my finger on. When I’m writing at my favorite time, I like to have the gentle side of Coltrane or Brubeck on the CD player. It creates sort of a spiritual space in which I write best.
School is something that you learn – reading and writing. Education is what you learn from the family, from the environment, from the community.
Agatha Christie’s writing is incredibly skillful because her books are incredibly intellectually puzzling and challenging.