I find you in these tears, few, useless and here at last. Don't come back.
Meet some people who care about poetry the way you do. You'll have that readership. Keep going until you know you're doing work that's worthy. And then see what happens. That's my advice.
There'll always be working people in my poems because I grew up with them, and I am a poet of memory.
I'm afraid we live at the mercy of a power, maybe a God, without mercy. And yet we find it, as I have, from others.
I'm seventy-one now, so it's hard to imagine a dramatic change.
I'm saying look, here they come, pay attention. Let your eyes transform what appears ordinary, commonplace, into what it is, a moment in time, an observed fragment of eternity.
I started listening to music when I wrote when I had three sons at home.
Now I think poetry will save nothing from oblivion, but I keep writing about the ordinary because for me it's the home of the extraordinary, the only home.
My father died when I was five, but I grew up in a strong family.
I listen to jazz about three hours a day. I love Louis Armstrong.
But most commonly, it's one poem that I work on with a lot of intensity.
I realized poetry's the thing that I can do 'cause I can stick at it and work with tremendous intensity.
It's ironic that while I was a worker in Detroit, which I left when I was twenty six, my sense was that the thing that's going to stop me from being a poet is the fact that I'm doing this crummy work.
The irony is, going to work every day became the subject of probably my best poetry.
My mother carried on and supported us; her ambition had been to write poetry and songs.