The decision for me was whether to have 'The Father' be a book that told a story - from the point of view of this speaker, the daughter - without, as in the earlier books, then having a section on something else and a section on something else.
At one point I took on a new job, and I just didn't have time to do anything but work.
Maybe we can use a metaphor for it, out of dance. I think for many years I was aware of the need, in dance and in life, to breathe deeply and to take in more air than we usually take in.
I wish I wrote more about the world at more distance from myself.
So I did quit coffee and I did quit smoking. But I haven't managed that with drinking!
I'm not sure that the benefit - as a writer and as a citizen - that I would get from reading at least the front page of the Times every day or every other day would outweigh the depression.
My poems - I don't even like the sound of that, in a way. Not that anyone else wrote them. But we know that only people who are really close to us care about our personal experience.
Their spirits and their visions are embodied in their craft. And so is mine. It's not Jane Saw Puff. But the clarity of Jane Saw Puff is precious to me.
The older I get, the more I feel almost beautiful.
This creature of the poem may assemble itself into a being with its own centrifugal force.
There are some fine books and essays about that. Lewis Hyde has written about alcoholism and poets and the role that society gives its writers - encouraging them to die.
I think that there are fiction writers for whom that works well. I could never do it. I feel as if, by the time I see that it's a poem, it's almost written in my head somewhere.
Many poets write books. They'll tell you: Well, I've got my next book, but there are two poems I need to write, one about x, one about y. This is a wonder to me.
I didn't have time to sit down and look at the work of a year and choose what to type.
I think this is true for all artists. My senses are very important to me.
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