The ideas transmitted through words have always been the most important thing to me. I’ve always been interested in what is behind the story. There is the facade of what is read and what is written—I’m always interested in what’s behind it. I’m in favour of accepting the fact that when one is writing one is always writing about oneself, no matter how you express yourself on whatever issue.
Poems communicate and conveys feelings and emotions. I think that it is through an examination of one’s self that one reaches an examination of everything else. A poem lives in different places, in different contexts. When you read a poem to yourself, that is performance. It’s a different artistic experience when it’s on the page and you read it to yourself. And it’s a different artistic experience when it’s read to you—especially by the poet.
The role of the poet is the same as that of anyone else—to examine why we are here and what we’re going to do while we are here. The most important thing in art is life. I don’t think you can divorce art from life. The duties of the poet are the duties of confronting honesty, confronting one’s behaviour and confronting how one treats other people.
When you read the poem to yourself, you are interpreting the poem totally in your own way. If I read one of my poems to you, it can make the poem only one thing—my interpretation. When I read my poem, I present my view of my work. The job of any artist is to give the reader, listener or viewer a means of imagination and interpretation.