Memory has always been fundamental for me. In fact, remembering what I had forgotten is the way most of the poems get started.
Poems that come swiftly are usually the ones that you keep.
I think the first little jolt I got was reading Gerard Manley Hopkins - I liked other poems... but Hopkins was kind of electric for me - he changed the rules with speech, and the whole intensity of the language was there and so on.
I used to carry about with me a German map-case filled with poems.
But you'd have a job to find many of my poems which would seem to be very influenced by a particular person.
I got $30 from Nation magazine for a poem and $500 for my first book of poems.
I learned to play guitar at a young age and converted poems and stuff that I had written to songs.
In a funny way, poems are suited to modern life. They're short, they're intense. Nobody has time to read a 700-page book. People read magazines, and a poem takes less time than an article.
Everyone thinks they're going to write one book of poems or one novel.
Of the individual poems, some are more lyric and some are more descriptive or narrative. Each poem is fixed in a moment. All those moments written or read together take on the movement and architecture of a narrative.
We read Robert Browning's poetry. Here we needed no guidance from the professor: the poems themselves were enough.
Many of my poems are not sexual.
We tend to put poems into factions. And it restricts our reading.
Irish history having been forbidden in schools, has been, to a great extent, learned from Raftery's poems by the people of Mayo, where he was born, and of Galway, where he spent his later years.
Well it is certainly the case that the poems - which were in fact published during Shakespeare's lifetime - are weird if they began or originated in this form, as I think they did, because the poems get out of control.
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