The days, the nights, flow one by one above us. The hours go silently over our lifted faces. We are like dreamers who walk beneath a sea. Beneath high walls we flow in the sun together. We sleep, we wake, we laugh, we pursue, we flee.
Ghostly above us in lamplight the towers gleam ... and after a while they will fall to dust and rain; or else we will tear them down with impatient hands; and hew rock out of the earth, and build them again.
I compelled myself all through to write an exercise in verse, in a different form, every day of the year. I turned out my page every day, of some sort--I mean I didn't give a damn about the meaning, I just wanted to master the form--all the way from free verse, Walt Whitman, to the most elaborate of villanelles and ballad forms. Very good training. I've always told everybody who has ever come to me that I thought that was the first thing to do.
Schoolchildren all over America are told to write to authors-often to authors whom they have never before heard of, whose work they are to young to understand in the least, and often in letters which are almost illiterate. If children are to be taught to respect the work of American poets I think some better way might be found to do so- some way which would not make such an inconsiderate demand on the author's time.
It is precisely the sort of thing I am always trying to do in my writing -- to present my unhappy reader with a wide-ranged chaos -- of actions and reactions, thoughts, memories and feelings -- in the vain hope that at the end he will see that the whole thing represents only one moment, one feeling, one person. A raging, trumpeting jungle of associations, and then I announce at the end of it, with a gesture of despair, "This is I!