Poet of the Month: Nicholas Samaras
Samaras has published poems in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Paris
Review, Poetry, Michigan Quarterly Review, and the
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Samaras, on Writing
My only-singular-goal in writing is to write wholeness. I write for
wholeness. I write to make things more real. Haven't you ever had that experience in which
you say to yourself, "What was that? Did that really just happen?" You search
for meaning in the event. You feel the resonance, the reverberations, of the event, and
plumb the experience for content. This is how I write. I write to make things more real.
As I write for wholeness, my intention is for the poem to be born equally whole, to embody wholeness within itself. From this, I do not believe in the biography of the author. I am no one to the poem. I am only the vehicle of the poem. In my mind, the poem must stand on its own, must live its own life and not be dependent upon mine. From this, I don't normally talk about myself. Let the poem talk about itself. My own biography is not done. I am a process. The poem is its own process.
Calling yourself a writer is like calling yourself a Christian. In reality, what you call yourself is an endless process. It is the verb, never the noun. I am not a poet. I am a writer. I am not a writer. I write.
A part of what I do is theological. God lives in the point of my pen. In writing, I interact with the act of creativity, the act of creation..
Gazing out the window is writing. Waiting to write is writing. Thinking about writing is writing, as is the act of writing.
Education means to dismantle the gods. For example, I remember adulating Sylvia Plath. But there came a day when I reread her poem "You're" and thought, "This poem is really mediocre." My education began only when I recognised that fact.
My greatest impetus and inspiration for writing is travel. I live for travel, as I live for writing. I am made both large and small with travel. In a sense now, travel is the mouth of a cave with the traveler peering into the entrance. For me, poetry is the same as travel. I stand at the mouth of the cave, the blank page of the poem, and gaze in deeply. As with travel, I think of the journey of the poem and where it will take me. To me, the poem is the Cave of the Apocalypse, Saint John the Evangelist's Cave of the Book of Revelations, on the
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