I loved poetry as a little girl and in school, adored it as a student in Oxford, and read dozens, perhaps hundreds, of volumes of poetry in graduate school, and for the two years after that.
Then I started writing prose, and, as happens in many lives, stopped reading poetry, though I never encountered a poem I didn’t read, with nostalgia, in magazines like the New Yorker.
I remember telling the poet Ellen Bryant Voight at Bread Loaf about how much I had loved reading and writing poetry, but how with young children, my life was no longer quiet enough to listen to the rhythms of poetry and write it.
She said that as the children grew up, I would return to poetry.
I long to be immersed in poetry again–reading poems, writing poems. After a couple of decades out, I might not write to the highest reaches of the poet’s art–but ironically, that may make my poems more accessible to more people.
Poetry, reading it, writing it, so calms me down and stills me.
I read a few poems, and am filled again with the rhythms and excitement of language and the longing to write. It is the best preparation for writing that I know of. It is sublime.