Interviews | December 10, 2012

A poem is a score for consciousness (“score” as in “musical score”). In textual terms, consciousness conveys itself as what fiction writers call “point of view.” So far so good. I believe less in the absolute separation of the various points of view, however: first person and third person are manifestations of the same thing: consciousness per se. Therefore, I work as though every third-person text is simply a first-person text in which no one has (yet) said “I” but could at any moment. I also work as though every poem, whatever its preponderant pronoun, is in fact (à la Whitman) a groping for omniscience, the manifestation of a desire to forgive everything and therefore to know everything.

This interview is not currently available online.

If you are a student, faculty member, or staff member at an institution whose library subscribes to Project Muse, you can read this piece and the full archives of the Missouri Review for free. Check this list to see if your library is a Project Muse subscriber.