So today I was thinking about this unrealistic possibility that if we could pick a poet, any living poet and spend a day with them, tagging along, picking there brain, watching them at work... who would I pick? Of course there is like no chance of this happening, but it raises the question of who I might like to experience such an encounter with, someone who I'd like to believe such an experience might influence in some small way my approach to poetry, poetic theory, maybe learn something more about their work habits, the way they rework their drafts, etc.
I suppose this is the point where I reveal who this poet might be. Still, after much thought I have a list of candidates in mind, but have not been able to decide one one single victim.
What is interesting however, is the fact that my list includes some rather famous poets, but it also includes some lesser knowns. It is not simply the celebrity aspect that is important here, but individuals whose work I greatly admire and respect. I think back at history and the associations that developed between some prominent poets that you know had to have some impact on one another. Robert Lowell to both Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. Frank O'Hara and John Ashbery. Robert Bly and James Wright, just to name a few. These connections fascinate me. I've found reading the published selected letters of many writers to be both enjoyable and in some instances educational. But I digress.
So I have this list which I will not expose just yet. I want to whittle it down a bit. Maybe I'll share it when I shorten the list a bit, and let you get the feel of me agonizing over the final selection (albeit an exercise in pure fantasy).