Philip Booth, 1978
POETRY MISCELLANY: C6zanne once remarked that his aim was to retrieve objects from behind the atmosphere impressionists drew over them. To do so, he said, he had to become part of the landscape: "The landscape thinks itself in me and I am its consciousness." One could begin to discuss your work by talking about its descriptive quality, that is, the nature of perception for you, the relation between the literal and the figural, the concrete object and the (subjective) image of the object. For example, in "How to See Deer," you seem on one level to prescribe a literal "See / What you see," and you take a similar stance in "Adding It Up." But the poems are obviously more than literal descriptions--as a poem like "Stove," where a whole narrative background is revealed as part of the meaning of the image of the stove. In all your poems, there is a way in which the world enters you as you enter it-perspectives blend. In "Let the Trees," you say, "let your two eyes / fill them, even as then / your own two eyes may / be filled," playing on the poem on "eye" and "I".
PHILIP BOOTH: In terms of the action of the poem, perception is very often visual. And also very often narrative in the sense that the "I" of the poem sees things in a certain sequence which then comes to some consequence--what the poem is about. I suppose I think with Stevens that description is revelation, but that the revelation from my point of view is the result of relationships, whether those relationships are as simple as between