Myself, I listen and read and watch. Phrases come into my mind, usually more interesting for their rhythms than for what they say, and sometimes they can ignite an entire set of rhythms, poetic, dramatic, horizontal (the line), perpendicular (the stanza and the whole piece), and at the same time it becomes important that I find the meaning of what is being said as well and make it as plain as I can. Sometimes it is not plain at all; sometimes there remains a shimmering or a veil or a hint of magic about which it is impossible to be more explicit. I can only approach it as closely as my craft or art allow me; then it must be left to itself.
- John Newlove, from the intro to A Long Continual Argument: The Selected Poems of John Newlove, ed. Robert McTavish. See my recent post on Newlove here.