"At one point I took on a new job, and I just didn't have time to do anything but work."
"Because a poem is not written while running or while answering the phone. It's written in whatever minutes one has. Sometimes you have half an hour."
"Every poet I know - although there may be some I don't know who lead very different lives, who maybe live in the country and don't teach - tends to be just like the rest of us: just really busy, really overcommitted."
"Everyone is so different. I sometimes wish I wrote in a different way. You know, that feeling of: So-and-so writes slowly, if only I wrote slowly."
"I didn't have time to sit down and look at the work of a year and choose what to type."
"I think that my work is easy to understand because I am not a thinker, I am not a... How can I put it? I write the way I perceive, I guess."
"I think that there are fiction writers for whom that works well. I could never do it. I feel as if, by the time I see that it's a poem, it's almost written in my head somewhere."
"I think this is true for all artists. My senses are very important to me."
"I was very afraid that I wouldn't be able to do this job well. And the time never came back."
"I wish I wrote more about the world at more distance from myself."
"I'm not sure that the benefit - as a writer and as a citizen - that I would get from reading at least the front page of the Times every day or every other day would outweigh the depression."
"I'm probably so out of it at my age that I don't know what people think."
"If I wrote in a sonnet form, I would be distorting. Or if I had some great new idea for line breaks and I used it in a poem, but it's really not right for that poem, but I wanted it, that would be distorting."
"It might be a bad thing, not to know what's going on in the world. I can't say I really approve of it."
"Many poets write books. They'll tell you: Well, I've got my next book, but there are two poems I need to write, one about x, one about y. This is a wonder to me."
"Maybe we can use a metaphor for it, out of dance. I think for many years I was aware of the need, in dance and in life, to breathe deeply and to take in more air than we usually take in."
"My poems - I don't even like the sound of that, in a way. Not that anyone else wrote them. But we know that only people who are really close to us care about our personal experience."
"So I did quit coffee and I did quit smoking. But I haven't managed that with drinking!"
"The amount of horror one used to hear about in one village could be quite extreme. But one might not have heard about all the other villages' horrors at the same time."
"The decision for me was whether to have "The Father" be a book that told a story - from the point of view of this speaker, the daughter - without, as in the earlier books, then having a section on something else and a section on something else."
"The fact that there was a lot of anger and sorrow and a sense of connection to destructive feelings in "The Father" doesn't bother me."
"The older I get, the more I feel almost beautiful."
"The teaching is very rewarding, and very time-consuming, and very exhausting. But it's wonderful. The community here at NYU is very precious to me."
"Their spirits and their visions are embodied in their craft. And so is mine. It's not Jane Saw Puff. But the clarity of Jane Saw Puff is precious to me."
"There are some fine books and essays about that. Lewis Hyde has written about alcoholism and poets and the role that society gives its writers - encouraging them to die."
"This creature of the poem may assemble itself into a being with its own centrifugal force."
"To me, the mind seems to be spread out in the whole body - the senses are part of the brain. I guess they're not where the thinking is done."
"We're all taking on too much, we're all asking too much of ourselves. We're all wishing we could do more, and therefore just doing more."
"Well, "The Wellspring" was written from 1983 to 1986. And it had a section in the beginning that was poems that began from others' experience."
"Well, one thing I'm really interested in, when I'm writing, is being accurate."
"When I quit all these things and said I didn't have any time, I meant I didn't have any time."
"Who wants to put together something that will bear some relationship to the vision or memory or experience or story or idea or dream or whatever."
"You listen to them and you're hearing a world-view, a body-view, you're hearing a spirit of a person, and mind, and heart, and soul."