Q. Do you see poetry as a record of the present?

In a wonderful essay called “Write Till You Drop, ” Annie Dillard mentions the fact that Walt Whitman rarely left his room. This was a man for whom the poem was a microcosm of the world and all its customs and cultures. Can sitting in your room be more than a personal act? Of course, and the internet gives us good proof. But even — and perhaps especially — without the internet, taking stock of this moment in time is a tremendously powerful thing to do.