made more available for other tasks within myself

Christopher Levenson: So when do you ever find time to write?

Russell Thornton: I get an hour and a half per day Monday to Friday at the local Public library to read and blacken pages. Having kids actually helps me in my writing: kids take me into a daily meeting of obligations and fulfillment of meaning. In this, oddly enough, I feel I’m made more available for other tasks within myself. My kids lash me to a metaphorical mast. If they didn’t I wouldn’t be able to sail past the islands of the sirens without falling in to the sea. I’m not saying I’m some sort of Odysseus. But I think many people who write poetry hear in some part of themselves those alluring sirens. The sirens’ singing contains all that is beautiful, yet it is terrible, dangerous. Having kids has taken me closer to my own island of sirens; it has also provided me with the right ship to negotiate my way through the winding voices, and make it back home — home being my literal home as well as my symbolic home, poetry.

-Russell Thornton, on writing with three kids and a day job, in interview with Christopher Levenson over at PRISM international. You can read the whole thing here.


theresa said...

Thank you for this. Russell is such a wonderful poet and it's interesting to read about the context of some of his recent work.

Rob Taylor said...

You're welcome, Theresa! I was really happy to be able to help get this interview out to the world.