If Abstract Expression reached for the sublime, Pop turned ordinary imagery into icons. Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol illuminated the transformative power of context and the process of reproduction. Claes Oldenburg's soft ice-cream cones and hamburgers changed sculpture from hard to soft, from stasis to transformation.
As a direct line to human feeling, empathic experience, genuine language and detail, poetry is everything that headline news is not. It takes us inside situations, helps us imagine life from more than one perspective, honors imagery and metaphor - those great tools of thought - and deepens our confidence in a meaningful world.
I find in my poetry and prose the rhythms and imagery of the best - I mean, when I'm at my best - of the good Southern black preachers. The lyricism of the spirituals and the directness of gospel songs and the mystery of blues are in my music or in my poetry and prose, or I missed everything.