Pound's translation of Chinese poetry was maybe the most important thing I read. Eliot a little bit later.
In the late 60s and early 70s, I did get interested in voices, and in narration and embodying the voice, making the poem sound like a real person talking.
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.
I think that it's more likely that in my 60s and 70s I will be writing poetry rather than fiction.
I write as a way of keeping myself going. You build your life around writing, and it's what gets you through. So it's partly just curiosity to see what you can do.
Philip Larkin has a tough honesty and sense of humor that I find irresistible, as a contemporary poet.
It was less a literary thing than a linguistic, philosophical preoccupation... discovering how far you can go with language to create immediate, elementary experience.
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.
Some people want to call me an Appalachian writer, even though I know some people use regional labels to belittle.
Distance not only gives nostalgia, but perspective, and maybe objectivity.
Share this top 10 list!