I finished Frank Bidart's In The Western Night last week and found at the end a great interview between Bidart and Mark Halliday from 1983. You can read the full text here, starting on page 223. This paragraph, however, really struck me:
"What I was in love with was the possibility of bringing together many different kinds of things in a poem. When I was an undergraduate, Eliot was probably my favorite (twentieth-century) poet; but Pound was the more liberating. The Cantos are very brilliant and they're also obviously very frustrating and in some ways, I guess, a mess. But they were tremendously liberating in the way that they way that anything can be gotten into a poem, that it doesn't have to change it's central identity to enter the poem--if you can create a structure that is large enough or strong enough, anything can retain its own identity and find its place there."
It occurred to me, reading this, that perhaps what my own poems need is a large/strong structure; that is, as they are, they do not have a context. As it is, I have been taking snapshots of the world without supplying any meaning to the images. I have an idea, though, about how to build the structure. I'm not sure how it's going to go, but perhaps something will come of it.