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I was apprehensive. I feared every time I talked about poetry, it would be filtered through the lens of race, sex, and age.
I was appointed Poet Laureate. It came totally out of the blue because most Poet Laureates had been considerably older than I. It was not something that I even had begun to dream about!
I try to show what it is about language and music that enthralls, because I think those are the two elements of poetry.
I thought, after the Pulitzer, at least nothing will surprise me quite that much in my life. And another one happened. It was quite amazing.
I think reading Shakespeare's plays when I was young was extremely important. He had the ability to make utter strangers come alive.
I think children have talent and insight, but it gets beaten out of them.
I see a resurgence of interest in poetry. I am less optimistic about the prospects for the arts when it comes to federal funding.
I prefer to explore the most intimate moments, the smaller, crystallized details we all hinge our lives on.
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.
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