I spend a lot of time in the position of “reader” (and critic), so I’m fascinated by how much of poetry is constructed by strangers, even long after the poet’s death.
I didn’t want people to just think through my argument; I wanted people to feel through my argument.
I trust editors. I’ve never worked with a bad editor, so I think they probably see the overall picture.
You can’t separate motherhood from the imagination, or from reality.
It was a little feminist joke to self about what a man of my age and ambition would do next: obviously, write an epic.
When politicians can get their style and life story and political beliefs to line up—Obama was another example of this; so was Calvin Coolidge—they can appeal to voters in so many ways.
Let’s say resolution is the feeling that the event has ended; the conflict has been fixed; we’re moving past it. Closure involves an opening-out.
I often fear that the chaotic household of imagery that populates many of my poems distracts from the violent subject matter. Beauty seems dangerous because you always run the risk of beautifying or glorifying atrocities.
I also wanted to write a family prehistory that was a window, one window, onto the prehistory of the Trump era.