On this web log, on and off as I have time, I will be posting the poems I have been writing over many years and the commentaries I have written for some of them. Some of the poems have been published in magazines and anthologies (in which case I have noted the publications) and some of them have not. Without presumption, I hope you find some interest in them. If you are so moved, please feel free to share your responses to them either on this blog or at my e-mail address:
I write both free verse and rhyming poetry, fully aware that the latter kind is currently not in favor—at least in this country. I disagree with one editor who wrote me that rhyme in poetry has the same effect “as fingernails scratching down a blackboard.” I often employ rhyme with other aspects of strict form out of my conviction that when it is not intoning great solemnities, poetry should sing and not sound like a paragraph or paragraphs out of prose. I also agree with John Dryden that many times rhyme has helped him into a thought. I write out of and for the passionate intellect, the earthy intelligence, and shun the kind of verse that excites the nerves with superficial sensations. I believe that architecture is critical to all the arts and take great care to network the elements—particularly the images—of a poem so that their configuration quietly enforces the theme. I find obscurity in a poem reprehensible, defeating the whole purpose of social communication, yet at the same time I cultivate that teasing at the edge of obscurity that is the definitive obliqueness of poetry and gratifies the reader when he or she without unreasonable strain breaks its code and thereby has a part in its creation. The result ordinarily requires of the reader the same patient attentiveness with which the poem was written, and I realize that in this expectation I’m contending with that contemporary hurry and lack of focus which generates impatience with all that does not come easily.
Poetry makes the supernatural
So that it looks natural.