There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. Such tenderness, those afternoons and evenings, saying blackberry, blackberry, blackberry.
In California in the early Spring, There are pale yellow mornings, when the mist burns slowly into day, The air stings like Autumn, clarifies like pain - Well, I have dreamed this coast myself.
When I was in high school in the '50s you were supposed to be an Elvis Presley, a James Dean, a Marlon Brando or a Kingston Trio type in a button-down shirt headed for the fraternities at Stanford or Cal.
You begin to see that all of these things are connected: The kind of cuts that mean less environmental protection are also the kind of cuts that mean less musical education for the schools and that also mean more overcrowded schools.
I think that the job of poetry, its political job, is to refresh the idea of justice, which is going dead in us all the time.
I got interested in the question of literacy because writers are always moaning about why more people don't read books.
Writing is an incessant process of discovery.
I teach a lecture course on American poetry to as many as 150 students. For a lot of them, it's their only elective, so this is their one shot. They'll take the Russian Novel or American Poetry, so I want to give them the high points, the inescapable poets.
Not to make too much of a claim for poetry, but this is a question that goes to the moral heart of the business of any art: 'How do you see the world, and what right do you have to see the world in the way that you do?'
The Earth forgives the previous year every year.
The Vietnam War and the Iraq war, in different ways, both made me feel like I could not not address them. I'm very doubtful about the usefulness of poetry to do that.
All the new thinking is about loss, In this it resembles all the old thinking.
Take the time to write. You can do your life's work in half an hour a day.
The first book that really knocked me out was the 'Brothers Karamazov.' I read it when I was a senior in high school.
When I was younger, I was so crazy about poetry that I didn't notice who was noticing. It seemed to me so tremendous and large.
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