Margaret Bikman of The Bellingham Herald talks with Bell about his view on politics and war, poetry and teaching, and his new book.
Read the whole interview here.
Q: These are not quiet meditations on the philosophy of war; rather, these are visceral, graphic, tossing-in-one’ssleep poems. Would you elaborate on your thought in a recent interview that you’ve “been trying for 30 years to figure out how best to put the news into poems — what other people would call politics”?
A: It doesn’t seem enough to me for poetry to be a graph of the mind, an experiment in language, or an aesthetic expression of emotion. The problem? Overt political content tends to overwhelm the poem so that it lacks insistent form and/or the complexity of the human condition.