"Hopkins is now a part of the moving tradition of poetry, and I am, naturally, a writer working from and towards tradition: in that sense, only, have I been 'influenced' by him. He is part of the living past of poetry, and if that past does not have its 'influence' on me, then cram me in an iron lung. His technique—the way he wrote—has not helped to form or change my technique—the way I write. (the texture of his language has richened poetry, and naturally, not by choice, I benefit).
"When I wrote my very earliest poems—some of which appear at the beginning of my American volumes, This World I breathe, (a shocking title, not mine), and Selected Writings—I had read no Hopkins, and the compound-words which appear in these poems—which critics have shown to be very close to Hopkins—came out of the blue of my head.
"I do not read or speak Welsh, and the cynghanedd is a foreign, and closed, form to me. In J. L. Sweeney's remarks in his introduction to my Selected Writings (N. Directions), about the deep Celtic significance of such and such a phrase, he pays tribute to an erudition I do not possess.
"I am sorry not to be more helpful. The only truth about my poems, is that I make them up."
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.