I finished Forth of July (about a 3-yr project) the day before my 48th birthday. So I was no spring chicken while writing that. In fact one way to look at the poem's combination of love/poetry/renewal - the Orpheus romance - is that, at my (sort of) middle age, I was self-consciously experiencing the ability to write the poem, as a kind of renewal. I was undergoing my own internal renaissance, which really began with the Island Road sonnets. "The Muse" and love and writing were synchronizing - after several years of frustration & difficulties.

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