Jul 20, 2020
I have been writing poetry since I was about six years old, and made it through several years of Radcliffe thinking that there was a career called “poet,” in which I could make a living by writing poems. I’m not sure where I got that idea or how I sustained it, but perhaps it was because it was the sixties. I started at Radcliffe in fall 1966.
Some highlights I remember from those years: Borges and Robert Creeley’s visits and readings—the former so learned and beyond me, the latter so irreverent. Creeley started by saying he was thrilled to be reading at an institution that he’d been kicked out of! I remember at that time at Harvard, poetry ended with Robert Frost. I had to get some kind of special dispensation to write about the Black Mountain Poets after Creeley’s visit. Other highlights: Discovering Osip Mandelstam’s poems (then untranslated) in the Widener library stacks.