Sunday, January 22, 2012
(Stars, engraving by Christoph Weigel, 1654-1725, German engraver and publisher)
In 2008, after she was appointed U. S. poet laureate, Kay Ryan talked to journalist Andrea Seabrook.
Seabrook: You said your poems are almost an empty suitcase.
Ryan: Well, I've always been extremely enamored of cartoons and cartooning, in which you have essentially just the outline, and I think if you leave something empty but charged in some way, not overly elaborated, you can have a surprising number of things come out of people when they read it. That's what I'm hoping, anyhow, and I mean, the truth is, it just is my constitution to do things that way.
Seabrook: To keep things sparse but powerful?
Ryan: Really simple, yeah. Well, hopefully. I mean, that would be the ideal.
the hardest thing
to hold out for.
make of yourself
a perfect place —
something settles —
sugar grains on
metal, but with
none of the chill.
It’s hard to explain.
~ Kay Ryan, born 1945, American poet, appointed poet laureate, 2007-2010