How Does Poetry Arrive?


“Poetry comes to me as a puzzling urgency of feeling, brought on by day to day experiences, some aspect of the natural world, by happiness and its mirrors, by love, birth, death, war, injustice, or by memory and desire. It might take anything from a week to several years for the feeling to find the right words. If things go well, and a sound poem emerges, I get to feel a rather tentative ‘fix’ of reconciliation; call it atonement, which returns each time I hear the poem read.

Workaday things like building a boat, introducing a small child to the sea, planting a row of beans; each of these, in their way, are sacrements of creativity, processes that demand to have some value placed on them; events to be praised, celebrated, and saved for others. Through poetry, I get the chance to share with listeners or readers, the true excitement, the wonderment of being alive.”