Poetry has been around for at least 3,000 years, probably much more, 4,000, and it's never encouraged in a big way by any institution. It's not that the kings and the generals and the teachers and whoever is out there. They're not shouting: We need more young poets, we need more young poets, we need more poetry. In the United States today where it appears that people read less and less because they're distracted watching television and using their computers to go on the web or whatever they do, there is a paradox in that more people seem to be writing poetry and reading poetry than ever when I started out in the 1950s. What's the explanation? The only explanation I have is that poetry fulfills some need that individuals have, poetry's probably the only place where one can speak about one's private life, one's solitude, certain memories, mortality, wonder about God, love, and eternal human preoccupations. The explanation for the longevity must be that, that it, it is so necessary to human beings. It's the only way to convey the flavor of one's solitude, of an individual's solitude. So I feel always hopeful about poetry and it will outlive us all.