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I loved to write when I was a child. I wrote, but I always thought it was something that you did as a child, then you put away childish things.
I loved to read, but I always thought that the dream was too far away. The person who had written the book was a god, it wasn't a person.
I keep the drafts of each poem in color-coded folders. I pick up the folders according to how I feel about that color that day.
I have a high guilt quotient. A poem can go through as many as 50 or 60 drafts. It can take from a day to two years-or longer.
I didn't know writers could be real live people, because I never knew any writers.
I carry a notebook with me everywhere. But that's only the first step.
I believe people may have a predisposition for artistic creativity. It doesn't mean they're going to make it.
Have you ever heard a good joke? If you've ever heard someone just right, with the right pacing, then you're already on the way to poetry. It's about using words in very precise ways and using gesture.
Going to the library was the one place we got to go without asking for permission. And they let us choose what we wanted to read. It was a feeling of having a book be mine entirely.
For years, I had heard about the lack of interest in literature in the U.S. and I had complained about it. I failed to understand how people could fail to be moved by art.
For many years, I thought a poem was a whisper overheard, not an aria heard.
Being true to yourself really means being true to all the complexities of the human spirit.
Being Poet Laureate made me realize I was capable of a larger voice. There is a more public utterance I can make as a poet.
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