6 mar. 2009

When discussing one's one personal poetic development, it is very hard to be honest rather than creating an "aspirational" lineage that reflects what one would have wanted to be influenced by, knowing then what what knows now. We always want to project backwards a knowledge that we didn't have in the past. The other pit-fall is false modesty, of course--pretending to be even more clueless than one really was. On a comment on a post below, Steve Tills seems to want me to have been more aspirational.

For example, aspirationally, I would want to have been influenced by a lot of women writers, yet my truly formative influences are not. I could list a ton of names of people that I would have wanted to have influenced me. If only!

So I continue my story...

(13) I didn't really connect with people my own age or younger as poets until I was about 36 and started with the Buffalo Poetics list. Before that I always thought poets were either idiots or sort of un-contactable icons. I still despise many poets for their stupidity.

(14) Lola Velasco is a friend of mine. One of the cases where friendship leads to writing about a poet's work. Beginning to write in Spanish is a formative development for me, but one that takes places only after 2002 or 03. I try not to write about close friends who are poets.

(15) I've abandoned all sense of chronology at this point. At a certain point I felt I had become a person with the beginnings real education in poetry. This was several years after publishing my first two books of criticism and getting tenure. At the same time, I sense of being a talented poet but one without a poetic work per se. The number of poems I've published is laughable, and I've never published a book or even a chapbook.