Why do you write poetry?
One reason I write poetry is that it is the truest artistic medium in which everything that compels my attention in the world can be included. When you are writing a poem you are simultaneously a cinematographer, a drummer, a music conductor, a storyteller, a preacher, a lover, and an engineer (the list could go on). These voices exist simultaneously in the mind as you are weighing and evaluating the relative merits of each word in a poem. A poem welcomes an intensity of attention more so than any other art form I know. What’s amazing about a poem is that all of these components are contrived from words. Poems can be utterly unforgiving in the writing process because the materials are blameless. In most other art forms, there is blame to go around—paint dries and hardens to a color you didn’t expect, a camera malfunctions and erases the film, the custodian accidentally turns off the heat to the kiln—but in poetry, any and every word is immediately and unfailingly available. The pliability of language is both terrifying and thrilling.