WERE IT NOT FOR THE HELP OF SEVERAL PEOPLE, Green Thoughts, Green Shades would never have been more than an idea. So let me thank them at the outset: Calvin Bedient and Stephen Yenser, my colleagues at UCLA; and Linda Norton, literary acquisitions editor at the University of California Press. That it had a chance at life is owing to the nourishing hospitality of Doris and Darryl Curran, who feted, fed, and occasionally housed a number of the contributors: for thirty years these two made poetry part of the Los Angeles climate until the end of the millennium, when, to the great sadness of all, Doris died, leaving me, and others, with many unpaid debts. That Green Thoughts finally grew into a book, of course, is a matter of the goodwill and huge talent of the contributors themselves.
I continue to learn much about poetry from my UCLA students, most recently those who have taken my smorgasbord of a seminar, “How to Read a Poem, ” which has frequently included poems both discussed and written by the contributors. Two of my early teachers, Harvard Knowles and David Sofield, showed me their ways with verse some years ago; it is high time I thanked them in public—the latter, as luck would have it, too, for continuing a lifelong conversation about poetry in the form of a wonderfully useful reader's report he provided the press. I want to express my appreciation as well to the press's second reader for an astute response to the manuscript. It is a pleasure to acknowledge both Anne Myers and