Attorneys always begin the questioning with certain admonishments, like, if you don’t know the answer to a question, the appropriate response is “I don’t know.” Then they’ll say something like, “Please don’t guess, but you may estimate. That is fine.” English majors, who sometimes go on to become lawyers, are never admonished in this way. I’ve even been told, by one professor, you’re an English major, you should always have something to say. Thank God he is retiring soon. Perhaps if he would stop saying things – but that is another story, another day. All this is a long way of saying I’ve been tagged by Talia to hold forth on the subject of quotes about poetry. The appropriate response is “I don’t know.” I’m still sifting it out, trying to come to terms with what I believe. But since I’m trying, so hard, to lean into poetry, I will tell you what I’m reading, I'll estimate and try to get close to the subject, I'll tell you what struck a chord with me recently, as I’m waiting for works by Christine Garren and Jack Gilbert to arrive.
The Wound - by Franz Wright
for Denis Johnson