Dear Editor,

I’m not sure poets are the best people to ask about their poems, and the questions you asked them were probably least likely to elicit their best thinking, i.e., most informative about the creative process.

In any event, what’s most important is the interface between readers and text: one shouldn’t overintellectualize the sources of the poem or the history of the poet. That kind of context is a distraction from the main event, a crutch for readers who need to learn to stand on their own feet.

Originally Published: June 1st, 2010
Appeared in Poetry Magazine This Appears In