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I've had trouble with criticism, I guess. It's hard to know what role criticism plays in either encouraging poets or in getting other people to read them.
I'm a writer who likes to be influenced.
I wonder if I ever thought of an ideal reader... I guess when I was in my 20s and in New York and maybe even in my early 30s, I would write for my wife Janice... mainly for my poet friends and my wife, who was very smart about poetry.
I was influenced by surrealist poetry and painting as were thousands of other people, and it seems to me to have become a part of the way I write, but it's not.
I was excited by what my painter friends were doing, and they seemed to be interested in our poetry too, and that was a wonderful little, fizzy sort of world.
I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. My family was not nationally known as being a literary family, though my mother and my mother's side of the family in general were interested in literature.
I never thought of myself as a New York poet or as an American poet.
I love painting and music, of course. I don't know nearly as much about them as I know about poetry. I've certainly been influenced by fiction. I was overwhelmed by War and Peace when I read it, and I didn't read it until I was in my late 20s.
I got married, other people went off. We had sort of another public-we were our entire readership for many years, and we were very excited by each other.
I certainly have the feeling that I'm the same person even though I've changed a great deal.
Certainly, it seems true enough that there's a good deal of irony in the world... I mean, if you live in a world full of politicians and advertising, there's obviously a lot of deception.
As I look over my work, I mean every time I look over my early work, I see, yes, I could do that then and then I could do that and that... That may be the hardest thing for a writer, at least for a poet, to tell what the identity of his work is.
As for political poetry, as it's usually defined, it seems there's very little good political poetry.
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