Poetry’s effect on our lives resists counting, resists commodification.
You can find the true coin of the realm, if you go looking for it.
It really doesn’t matter to me why a great poem was written. I just want to read the poem.
If a poem holds only what we already understand and are comfortable with, we wouldn’t need the poem.
I don’t like using even the word ‘spiritual,’ though I know no other way to signal a certain quadrant of being.
So many people came that the campus fire department forced some to leave.
How do we live in the great meanwhile, in which all our lives take place? I think poems help with that.
We live in an outward-facing time. But not everything can happen on YouTube. Some poetry, at least, must continue to preserve the interiority that allows the heart and mind its more tentative, and more tender, experiments.
For every moment you ask of your reader’s attention, you must try to repay them with more. A good poem holds more than a gallon of water in a gallon-sized bucket.
A poem starts with a fact, an observation, a sentence, an event that becomes the precipitating dust the raindrop then forms around. But if you want to be rained on, you need some way to bring it into life, into interconnection.
I’ve been cooking artichokes for forty years now, and for the first time, one was needed for a poem. We’ve been at war since 2003. Ten years of war, when I wrote that poem, and it still hasn’t ended.