Sunday, July 26, 2020

Q&A …

… Kay Ryan — The Art if Poetry No. 94. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
I spend vastly more time away from my desk. I’ve spent maybe one hundredth of my time writing. It seems like many people think that if you drive yourself crazy, then you can write. I’m absolutely not interested in that. It made sense to me to be as whole and well as I could be, and as happy. I wanted to see what a fortunate life would produce. What writing would come out of a mind that didn’t try to torment itself? What did I have to know? What did I have to do rather than what can I torment and bend myself into doing? What was the fruit on that tree? I’ve had a terrifically fortunate life. Which is not to say I’m talking nothing but sunshine. A certain kind of perhaps rather unwholesome-looking distortion or lopsidedness is necessary to the writer’s mind, but I never wanted to add to the grief of being human, the burden of it, or have my work do that. I never wanted to make things harder for people, or to make them feel more weighed down or guilty.

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