Welcome to The Poem Itself: A Conversation, the new incarnation of The Poetry Conversation. I chose the new title for several reasons. First of all, that’s what all our talk comes down to: the poem on the page, in the throat, in the heart and in the mind. “No ideas but in things,” said William Carlos Williams. And Wallace Stevens titled a poem “Not Ideas About the Thing But the Thing Itself.” I’m interested in the poem as a thing, made of words and music. T. S. Eliot dedicated The Waste Land to Ezra Pound not as the better writer, but as il miglio fabbro, the better maker. We poets write things in our notebooks, and then we make something of them. We translate private worlds into public objects that can be walked around, talked about, and peered into. I hope our conversation will include a wide range of subjects, from individual poems and poets, to different kinds of poetry, to the relationship of poetry to other art forms, to its social and cultural context, to aspects I’ve never thought of–but you have. You can comment on the current post by clicking on its title to the right, and after you make your comment you can check a box to see all responses to it. You can also subscribe to receive the most recent post automatically. I hope to see you here soon.