I've been influenced by poets as diverse as Dylan Thomas, Lewis Carroll, and Edgar Allan Poe.
I'm mostly influenced by life, what's around me, and my own childhood.
I invented animals and birds - I had about two dozen. After working on them for six months, I sat down and just for fun wrote two dozen poems to accompany the drawings. It was for no one to every see, but a friend sent me in to an editor.
Writing gives me the opportunity to explore ideas, play with language, solve problems, use my imagination, and draw on my own childhood.
I would go to sketch groups and draw. I really enjoyed the subject matter, but I wasn't good at it.
Poetry seems to sink into us the way prose doesn't. I can still quote verses I learned when I was very young, but I have trouble remembering one line of a novel I just finished reading.
I always knew would be some sort of artist, but didn't know what.
After I'd produced about two dozen pen and ink drawings, one evening I decided that they needed poems to accompany them. I still have no idea where that notion came from, but it took me about two hours to produce verses for these creatures.
Children seem naturally drawn to poetry - it's some combination of the rhyme, rhythm, and the words themselves.
Frankly, writing poetry for children is plain old fun, and I consider myself blessed to have such a delightful career.
We all need ways to express ourselves, and poetry is one of mine.
I look for poetry in English because it's the only language I read.
I'm never bored.
Then I decided to draw from and on my own imagination, and everything came out perfect.
I'm working now on a collection of Shakespearean sonnets, about 100 of them, that I may publish if anyone's interested. My take on life is a little different from the bard's.
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