Monday, November 15, 2010
Bill Moyers: Do you remember the first time you truly experienced words, somehow, as part of your being?
Stanley Kunitz (poet): I used to go out into the woods behind our house in Worcester, Massachusetts, and shout words, any words that came to me, preferably long ones, just because the sound of them excited me. "Eleemosynary," I recall, was one of my favorites. "Phantasmagoria" was another.
Moyers: Once in East Africa on the shore of an ancient lake, I sat alone and suddenly it struck me what community is. It's gathering around the fire and listening to somebody tell a story.
Kunitz: That's probably how poetry began, in some such setting. Wherever I've traveled in the world, I've never felt alone. Language is no barrier to people who love the word. I think of poets as solitaires with a heightened sense of community.
— from the indispensable The Language of Life: A Festival of Poets (Bill Moyers)