“Lyric poetry has been getting a bad name in the past decade or two, at least among the poets and critics I like to hang with. I take part in the putdown, I will admit, but I also have to admit that I like poetry that sings. This is a confusing issue, isn’t it? Listen to those erstwhile friends Robert Duncan andJack Spicer. They are both serial poets, two of the San Francisco poets who began using that term. Duncan was, to my ear, a lyric poet. He even tried singing with his honking voice, and you’d see him strongly tempted to dance on the stage. Spicer, though, was very plain-spoken. He wrote in sentences. You will hear his influence in the public transit poems of my friend George Stanley. Anyway, the poem you quote here is part of the unoriginal argument I have been making all this time, that poets serve—they don’t get served.”

A Big Work Presented to all:  An Interview with George Bowering and George Stanley (Part 1)