All posts tagged: Rick Barot

Rick Barot: “The Poem is a Letter Opener”

In celebration of the arrival of the Spring-Summer 2010 issue (v5.n1) of Poetry Northwest on newsstands and in mailboxes, we offer you this instrument of opening by Rick Barot, exclusively online.¬† “I wrote this poem during an autumn residency at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire,” notes Barot.¬† “Prior to the residency, I hadn’t written a poem in many months, perhaps close to a year.¬† And so my mind was full of half-thoughts and half-images and half-possibilities just waiting for some galvanizing energy to give them coherence.¬† There was a rocking chair in the studio, and I¬†spent nearly all my time in that chair, rocking and reading.¬† On the day I wrote the poem,¬†I was sitting in that chair and¬†opened up Bill Knott’s book of poems¬†The Unsubscriber, a favorite book.¬† Immediately I came across the¬†page that had this as the first line of a poem: ‘The poem is a letter opener.’¬† I closed the book, knew instantly¬†that Knott’s line was the title of a¬†poem that I wanted to write, sat down at the desk, and …