Is there one subject you feel you return to in your writing?
The relationship between imagination and the world. Between what’s inside one’s head and what’s outside of it. I think this has been one of the primary subjects of English-language poetry since Wordsworth.
Do you have any previously published pieces you’re particularly proud of?
“A Tetanus Shot” at https://www.rattle.com/a-tetanus-shot-by-william-doreski/ or “Logging in Nesting Season” at https://www.gravelmag.com/william-doreski.html
How do you feel about traditional poems and free verse? Which do you feel fits the present time? Can they coincide within one poem?
Every era generates the poems it needs and can imagine. Form should arise from the complex of necessities that incite poetry. I can’t write free verse—I either write accentual verse or prose poetry. I don’t know why I’ve never been comfortable with the sort of free verse that Denise Levertov or Galway Kinnell could write. I just don’t have the ear for it. I’m not sure what you mean by traditional poems. But since all poems slip into the flux of poetry that has encircled the earth apparently since language was invented I guess all poems are traditional in some sense.
The contrast between the two establishments in this piece is striking. What part of the piece do you feel embodies this contrast the best?
I don’t know. I sort of like the chiasmus of the argument—that at first the cathedral seems the source of light, but then the blast furnace does.
This piece isn’t written in a typical poetic style. What made you decide to structure it as such?
The prose poem has already become a traditional form of sorts, having been around for at least a hundred and fifty years. I’ve been fooling around with it recently because I felt that my accentual verse had become too constricted and I wanted to loosen up my style. I felt I had been drifting too far from colloquial rhythms in my verse poems, violating Robert Lowell’s observation that “poetry should be as well written as prose.”
You can read William Doreski’s poem, “Passing Along the Light” in Issue Six of The Ginger Collect.