I suppose for whatever reason I actively welcome being put down, something which perhaps goes back to my upbringing - that accusation of not being worthy which could be laid at one's door.
I believe that these devices like repetition and rhyme are not artificial, that they're not imposed, somehow, on the language.
Living at that pitch, on that edge, is something which many poets engage in to some extent.
One will never again look at a birch tree, after the Robert Frost poem, in exactly the same way.
The other side of it is that, despite all that, people reach out to poetry at the key moments in their lives.
For whatever reason, people, including very well-educated people or people otherwise interested in reading, do not read poetry.
I certainly am interested in accessibility, clarity, and immediacy.
I'm sure 50 percent of television ads use rhyme.
That's one of the great things about poetry; one realises that one does one's little turn - that you're just part of the great crop, as it were.
We simply have not kept in touch with poetry.
What I try to do is to go into a poem - and one writes them, of course, poem by poem - to go into each poem, first of all without having any sense whatsoever of where it's going to end up.
The ground swell is what's going to sink you as well as being what buoys you up. These are cliches also, of course, and I'm sometimes interested in how much one can get away with.
I do a lot of readings.
I live in New Jersey now, which always gets a bad rap here and there, but I must say, I enjoy living here too.
I was born in Northern Ireland in 1951. I lived most of my life there until 1986 or 1987.
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