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In the later books I am much more at home in the use of language to describe things. I had never thought of that until a critic pointed that out.
In the late 60s and early 70s, I did get interested in voices, and in narration and embodying the voice, making the poem sound like a real person talking.
In the best fiction, the language itself can become almost invisible.
If people associate me with a region, that's fine with me.
If a poem is not memorable, there's probably something wrong. One of the problems of free verse is that much of the free verse poetry is not memorable.
I think that it's more likely that in my 60s and 70s I will be writing poetry rather than fiction.
I tell students they will know they are getting somewhere when a scene is so painful they can just barely bring themselves to write about it. A writer has to draw blood.
I seem to keep returning to my father in poems because his personality was so extreme, so driven. He did everything to excess. I seem to keep returning to my father in poems because his personality was so extreme, so driven. He did everything to excess.
I love to create interesting textures with language. You can do it as long as it seems like a discovery.
I love to compare different time frames. Poetry can evoke the time of the subject. By a very careful choice of words you can evoke an era, completely throw the poem into a different time scale.
I love chapbooks. They're in some ways the ideal form in which to publish and read poems. You can read 19 poems in a way you can't sit down and read 60 to 70 pages of poems.
I learned to impersonate the kind of person that talks about poetry. It comes from teaching, I think.
I have taught students from the New York City area so long I have a special affinity and rapport with them. It surprises me sometimes that there are students from anywhere else.
Never Let Me Go
New Years Eve
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