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You have to really dive deep back into yourself and get rid of so much modern analytical categorization. It's one of the great things poetry does.
With prose you can incorporate more details, develop scenes, sustain the tension in a special way. Prose has its own speed.
When you have an idea for a story, you want those characters to reach as many people as you can. I think you normally think of prose as a way of doing that. It fits our time, the culture.
What actually makes poetry poetry is of course impossible to define. We recognize it when we hear it, when we see it, but we can't define it.
We have a lot of long narrative poems written in the 20th century, but they're not very well known, and they're not read by very many people.
The young people have MTV and rock and roll. Why would they go to read poetry? Poetry belongs to the Stone Age. It awakens in us perceptions that go back to those times.
The Language Poets are writing only about language itself. The Ashbery poets are writing only about poetry itself. That seems to me a kind of dead end.
The idea of avant-garde art is a very suspicious thing to me, the idea that poetry is new and it keeps being new the way Chevrolets every year are new.
The great watershed of modern poetry is French, more than English.
The fact that something is in a rhymed form or in blank verse will not make it good poetry.
The decision to write in prose instead of poetry is made more by the readers than by writers. Almost no one is interested in reading narrative in verse.
The Black Mountain poet I like most is the early Creeley. Those early poems seem very lyrical and very traditional, with a lot of voice and character.
The best books of our times have included the three mature volumes of Philip Larkin. They're very short books of poems, and very carefully arranged.
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