When you require renewal, is there a particular poem or book that you return to? A particular author?
I return to the poem that first inspired me to write poetry, “Mock Orange” by Louise Gluck, all the time, though my favorite book of hers is actually Averno, which came later. There’s also something special for me in James Tate’s “Today I Am Falling”; that last sentence—“Today I am falling, falling, / falling in love, and desire / to leave this place forever.” —is one I’ve connected with ever since I first heard it. And to me, Robert Pinsky’s “Samurai Song” can be considered a mini-manual on how one might approach life, so I revisit it when I need to remind myself that when it feels like something is lacking, it’s time to rethink and re-see how the thing I feel is lacking may actually be available yet, with a little recalibration of belief and of self.