Kay Ryan on becoming a poet
Kay Ryan: The thing about poetry or being a poet was very embarrassing to me. It seemed, you know, there was, sort of, the Byronic, romantic, cloak-wearing, dramatic self-dramatizing figure of the poet. And in the 60's and 70's there was the terrible spate of confession going on, which was so inimical to my nature that I didn't really want any part of that. I wanted to protect myself and protect my feelings. And I thought I knew that if you're going to be a poet, you are going to have to make yourself entirely transparent in a sense. Your poetry has to be transparent. If you write well, you are utterly exposed. And so for a long time, I simply idn't want to be the person who wasn't just a funny person. I wanted to be a joke telling person. I wanted to be somebody with a pickup truck. And it would've been much more comfortable to, say, be a carpenter or -- or maybe, an electrician than a poet.