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 [by T.S. Eliot] does it best, since it makes dreaming impossible. But most anything by Lowell will do just fine unless I’ve had tea after nine PM.
Q: What poem do you love, love, love, but don’t understand?
Silliman: 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)?
Silliman: 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.