We asked a number of noted contemporary poets to deliver a piece of advice for younger poets. They sent in their advice on decorated postcards. Browse postcards and ephemera sent by Eduardo C. Corral, Rita Dove, Philip Levine, Carl Phillips, and others.
"I loved writing. I loved writing, and I wrote stories and poems. But then when I moved to New York, I realized that I wasn’t comfortable making stuff up. I had had it with angels and demons who (if your faith was strong enough) you believed were in the room with you. I’d had enough of fiction. You know when you have something that you long to say to someone, and you could never say it to them, to their face? Then here’s a place where you could speak." —Sharon Olds
"And he said: 'If you want to be a poet you have to take it seriously; you have to work on it the way you would work on anything else, and you have to do it every day.' He said: 'You should write about seventy-five lines a day'—you know Pound was a great one for the laying down the law about how you did anything—and he said, 'and you don’t have anything to write seventy-five lines about a day.' He said: 'You don’t really have anything to write about at the age of eighteen. You think you do, but you don’t.' And he said: 'The way to do it is to learn a language and translate. That way you can practice, and you can find out what you can do with your language, with your language.'" —W. S. Merwin
Poets via Post