How important is music to your poetry?
To me, poetry is its own kind of music. The idea of poetry as both representation and music (mimesis and logos, and melos) is an old one, but by music, I mean something quite broad – not only melody, rhythm, and rhyme, but also, more generally, a way of meaning that transcends human language – only via human language, in the case of poetry. In the same way that music can communicate without written or spoken language, there is an element of poetry that creates meaning beyond what is literally represented by its words.
In terms of the influence of other forms of music – these days, I don’t know how I would write without the inspiration of birdsongs, particularly the sounds of Halifax’s many, many starlings.