Thom Gunn
Excerpt from

Street Song

I am too young to grow a beard
But yes man it was me you heard
In dirty denim and dark glasses.
I look through everyone who passes
But ask him clear, I do not plead,
Keys Lids acid and speed.

Thom Gunn at The Academy of American Poets

Thom Gunn at Poetry Foundation

Paris Review Interview by Clive Wilmer

INTERVIEWER: When you start writing a poem, do you ever have a form in your head before you write, or do you always discover the form in writing?

GUNN:Again, sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. For example, a poem called "Street Song."  Part of the idea of that poem was to write a modern version of an Elizabethan or Jacobean street song. So of course I knew it was going to rhyme, that it might have some kind of refrain--it was going to be a particular kind of poem. Other poems I don't really know what they're going to be like and I will jot down my notes for them kind of higgledy-piggledy all over the page, so that when I look at what I've got maybe the form will be suggested by what I have there. That's mostly what happens with me. I don't start by writing a couplet or something, knowing the whole thing's going to be in couplets--though even that has happened.

"Black Jacket"

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