I was reading entries for November 21st in earlier years to see what I’d written on the anniversary of my father’s death. I was surprised to read this. It doesn’t mention my dad but I remember how I thought about him the whole time I was writing Patrin.
When John and I met and fell in love in 1979, we spent a fair amount of time arguing about poetry. Not our own but what we imagined the important contemporary writing to be. I remember running out into the night, in tears, wondering what on earth I’d done by marrying someone whose ideas were so different from my own. I’d barely heard of Robert Duncan, Charles Olson. What on earth was “projective verse” and how could it possible matter. We did have many favourite writers in common; we were both reading Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder, for instance. And in truth, our work was far more congenial than we knew during those first months, that first year. We used different language to talk about writing and in time our vocabularies became as acquainted and then as familiar as everything else.
I’ve been remembering all this for the past month…
View original post 1,066 more words