Words of wisdom? If you are going to write formally, learn the forms--the meters especially--from study of the great poets and poems of the past. It also helps a lot to know some poets from other languages (but perhaps not too many)--a few stars to be guided by. If you are going to write free verse, study of the great past masters of free verse is likewise absolutely necessary, I should think: Stevens & Williams, Pound & Eliot--and a scattering of other poems if not poets. Then of course everyone will--whether advised to or not--develop two or three favorites, whether they're really all that marvelous or not, and these favorites are to be prized.
in interview, March 6, 1997