last semester,

we remarked, a number of times, on Wallace Stevens’s habit of composing poems in his head as he walked to work and then dictating them to his secretary. I have been thinking of this lately because of the amount of time I’ve spent on buses and subway cars lately. Every time I have a prolonged stretch of time on public transit, I get more writing done–and more rhythmical, regular writing. It’s not quite composing the whole poem in my head, but frequently large portions of it get done that way. The rhythm of the train car, like the rhythm of the walk, is part of the process.

All of which is to say that this has been a poetically productive vacation.


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