“One time, again some years ago, Franz Kline was being questioned—not with hostility but with intensity, by another friend—and finally he said, ‘Well, look, if I paint what you know, then that will simply bore you, the repetition from me to you. If I paint what I know, it will be boring to myself. Therefore I paint what I don’t know.’ Well, I believe that. I write what I don’t know. Communication is a word one would have to spend much time defining. For example, can you make a blind man see? That has always been a question in my own mind. And if it is true that you cannot tell someone something he has no experience of, then the act of reading is that one is reading with someone. I feel when people read my poems most sympathetically, they are reading em>with me. So communication is mutual feeling with someone, not a didactic process of information.”
Photograph Credit Jonathan Williams, c. 1953.