I guess this is a problem I have, talking too much about my own writing. I come across as self-centered, selfish, solipsistic, egotistical. Too true, maybe. The accusation has been made. Then again, maybe you could look at it as someone caught up in his work.

I don't write much about contemporaries. Some poets around my age are much better at that, much more attuned to the other poets around them. Again, perhaps egotism could account for it. On the other hand, the path I've taken - as I see it from inside, anyway - led through the poetries of the late 60s & early 70s, back through the Bible & Shakespeare & Renaissance poetries, then the Russians, then the Moderns & some postmoderns. . . & in a way I feel satiated with poetry & as if there's enough there already to inspire, annoy & motivate me. . .

WCW, Pound, Crane, Olson. . . all of them felt strongly the dilemma of balancing the contemporary with the past achievements. In large part in reaction to Eliot's powerful schema for same. & simply put, I was greatly influenced by the readability, flair, intensity, sound-richness, of Crane, in relation to these others. I liked the organic consistency of The Bridge in comparison with some of the flat & slack stretches of some of the others, the way it climbs & climbs.

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