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Journal, Day Five March 24, 2006: My week is ending and I feel I haven’t gotten anywhere near the heart of what poetry really is for me. It’s a secret, I suppose, yet as a wise friend says, the deepest truths are written on our faces for all to see. And thank God. Secrets never turn out to be very interesting once they’re revealed. Because they’re all always the same. . . [...] by

Journal, Day Four March 23, 2006: I keep obsessing about my sense of a poem as a made thing—feeling kneaded and shaped into ideas, or is it conditioned by ideas, pressed through the mold of mental forms to become an autonomous object that somehow recapitulates the process? Or should we think of the poem as the process itself, the conversion of perception or emotion into . . . [...] by

Journal, Day Three March 22, 2006: Editing, translations—that leaves poetry itself, which always comes last, because it’s the most difficult, most personal, hardest to confront, the locus of the deepest hopes and doubts. At least that’s how it’s been for me. No doubt there are those who spring out of bed knowing what they need to say and already having found a way to [...] by

Journal, Day Two March 21, 2006: When I’m not working on work work, which could be all the time every day if I let it (like everyone else), I’m often absorbed in a translation project. I started working on translations in my mid-twenties when a friend asked me to try to do a version of the great Italian poet Eugenio Montale’s “Xenia,” a series of poems that constitute [...] by

Journal, Day One March 20, 2006: Poetry is my thing in life, my chosen field of play, and I actually spend a lot of my time on it almost daily, in spite of the fact that I write very little myself. I’m an editor and publisher by profession, and lucky enough to work in a house in which poetry is understood and accepted as central to our self-definition. How I lucked into this [...] by