Climate change is a moral challenge, not simply an economic or technological problem. It is linked to social justice, because it is the poor citizens of the world who will suffer the most from our excesses.
Teachers have been heroes to me, as well as artists and writers, and I'm honored to be among their ranks. There is always a lot of grousing about the academy. I suppose it comes from our all-American anti-authoritarianism.
I'm always writing towards a discovery. When I'm writing poems in particular, I'm often writing because a few images coalesced in my mind and I thought, "I wonder why these images are abrading against each other. I wonder what happens if put them in a poem and explore them." I'm trying to learn something every time I write a poem.
The world is going to be less biologically rich for quite some time in the future. We are always weeping that we live in such a diminished world, but we are experiencing a biologically rich world compared to what the future will look like. Bearing witness to that is a beautiful gift.
There are landscapes and species that are not going to be here a hundred years from now, fifty years from now. One gift we as writers give to the world is to bear witness to these landscapes and species as we have experienced them.
As poets, we don't accept oppression; we are about a freedom of spirit, or whatever you want to call it. I think environmental concerns have to go to the deep place, so we speak from a place of great empathy for the planet - for the disadvantaged people, animals, places, cultures.
It's extremely important that, as writers, we give a voice to those who don't have voices, including the other animals that we share the planet with and the places that are endangered or being lost.
I do think that the long poem speaks for an inner need for continuity. We live in a time of so many losses, disruptions, and distractions, that the need for a sense of the ongoing is quite real. The long poem is very satisfying in offering the psyche a model of coherence.
If you have this deep feeling of empathy for the natural world, you feel it so profoundly. It's almost a religious experience. I feel that I could never really say the depth of feeling or connection I feel to the natural world, which has made me.