Thursday, December 18, 2008

snoozing over Eliot

Q: Robert Lowell wrote a poem called "Falling Asleep Over the Aeneid." What supposedly immortal poem puts you to sleep?

Ron Silliman: The Four Quartets does it best, since it makes dreaming impossible. But most anything by Lowell will do just fine unless I've had tea after 9 PM.

Q. What poem do you love, love, love, but don't understand?

Ron: Hart Crane, The Bridge. Or (which I love less, but also understand less) John Berryman's Dream Songs.

Q. Can you name every teacher you had in elementary school? Did any of them make you memorize a poem? What poem(s)?

Ron: No, thank heavens. I can't memorize haiku. But Vance Teague in fifth grade made us write for an hour every Wednesday and never told us what genre. He made me a writer as much as anyone.

These are just three of many questions Ron Silliman has answered. See the rest.