Distance not only gives nostalgia, but perspective, and maybe objectivity.
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.
Some people want to call me an Appalachian writer, even though I know some people use regional labels to belittle.
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.
Alchemy is the art of far and near, and I think poetry is alchemy in that way. It's delightful to distort size, to see something that's tiny as though it were vast.
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.
One of the most powerful devices is to distort time, to go from human time to atomic time, geologic time. Sometimes you can actually accomplish that, with one unexpected word choice.
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.
Southern poets are still writing narrative poems, poems in forms, dramatic poems.
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.
I did not have a very literary background. I came to poetry from the sciences and mathematics, and also through an interest in Japanese and Chinese poetry in translation.
Pound's translation of Chinese poetry was maybe the most important thing I read. Eliot a little bit later.
I love to create interesting textures with language. You can do it as long as it seems like a discovery.
The great watershed of modern poetry is French, more than English.
A lot of my students are Asian-American, and it has been thrilling to watch them break through the stereotypes into something alive and surprising.
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