the rigorous m

bits and bobs, quotes and catching up

quotes: simic on process

Posted by rigorousm on July 31, 2011


INTERVIEWER – I once interviewed Allen Ginsberg, and asked him why he wrote the way he did—to which he replied, “Just because I do!” Is there much more to be said by poets about why they write the way they do?


SIMIC – Probably not. I write to annoy God, to make Death laugh. I write because I can’t get it right. I write because I want every woman in the world to fall in love with me. One can try to be clever like that, but in the end it comes down to what Ginsberg said.


INTERVIEWER – How would you characterize the way your style has evolved over the forty years you’ve been writing poetry?


SIMIC – In the early poems, the idea was to make poems entirely of images, not caring too much about sound, using the simplest possible vocabulary. I think my poems eventually got to be more careful about language and music. There are more autobiographical elements, more narratives. I became a country poet as much as a city poet. Naturally, I still have my obsessions, my bad habits, my blind spots. Like all poets who have written this long, I repeat myself. I wish I didn’t. Then again, like all insomniacs, I tend to brood and dwell over the same old things night after night.


Art of Poetry No 90, Charles Simic


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