The first thing to understand about my poetry
is that it comes to you from outside you,
in my books or in my words,
but that for it to live,
something from within you must come to it
and meet it
and complete it.
Your response with your own mind
gives my poetry its ability to work some magic;
if you give to it,
it will give to you,
and give plenty.
The sun is new every day
and the sun of my poetry is new every day, too,
because it is seen in different ways
by different people
who have lived under it,
lived with it,
and responded to it.
Their lives are different from yours,
but by means of what my poetry may bring to the fact of the sun,
— everybody’s sun; yours, too —
you can come into possession of many suns:
as many as men and women have ever been able to imagine.
I hope that my poetry makes possible
your deepest kind of personal possession of the world.
The beginning of your encounter with my poetry
should be simple.
It bypasses classrooms,
and strives to go straight to the things
that make your own existence exist:
to your body and nerves and blood and muscles.
With my poetry, find your own way
— a secret way that maybe you don’t know yet —
to open yourself as wide as you can
and as deep as you can
to the moment,
the now of your own existence
and the endless mystery of it,
and perhaps at the same time
to one other thing that is not you,
but is out there:
a handful of soil is a good place to start.
For me, almost anything put poetically
is more memorable than the same thing in prose.
Why this is, I don't know,
though the answer is surely rooted
far down in the biology
by means of which we exist;
in the circulation of the blood
that goes forth from the heart and comes back,
and in the repetition of breathing.
the more your encounter with my poetry deepens,
the more your experience of your own life deepens,
and you begin to see things by means of words,
and words by means of things.
you will come to understand the world
as it interacts with words,
and as it can be re-created by words,
in rhythms and by images.
My experience is that this condition
is one charged with vital possibilities.
You might pick up meaning more quickly
and you will create meaning, too,
for yourself and others.
Connections between things
may exist for you in ways that they never did before.
They will shine with unexpectedness,
if you go toward them
on your own path.
You will know this is happening
the first time you say,
of something you might not have noticed before,
Many have gifted me
after immersion in my poetry.