i took a stack of books to cayucos and tore thru all of them. one of the tomes was a bio/study by thomas salumets, unforced flourishing: understanding jaan kaplinski [mcgill-queens's university press; 2014].
i have been a reader of kaplinski for close to 20 years. what attracts me to the estonian poet is his deceptive simplicity. kaplinski's poems read almost like diary entries. they are clear, plain and concise like the classical chinese poets.
kaplinski is a student of buddhism. as i am. as many of us are in the world. the title of salumets' study, 'unforced flourishing' signals a taoist idea of wu-wei, non-action, that what we do is natural, without force, that we strive to be in total harmony with nature.
i write more like kaplinski but i have a great appreciation of difficulty and difficult poets. this is a hard, problematic world after all.
jose kozer's poetry is difficult. he too is a student of buddhism. kozer's poetry is not plain but dense, knotty, thematically hard. i do not write like kozer -- who can? -- but i can read him with great great pleasure and learn much from the old cubanazo.
paul e nelson travelled to hallendale beach, florida to meet kozer last january and brought back this interview. actually this is a summary with photos and a few audio links of this interview because of pending publication. but you get a wonderful portrait of jose kozer as he is a living human being/poet.
i loved this bit that poems should be written quickly, in twenty minutes or less and he agreed with the assessment that his poetry is organic/spontaneous. His says the act of writing the poem is as natural as defecating.
wholly agree with that statement. write as if it were the most natural thing in the world to you. because it is. i look forward to reading/hearing all of this interview conducted by nelson who deserves nine bows for his good work interviewing jose kozer.