How long does it take you to write a poem?

To write a poem it could take anything from five minutes to a year. I think the longest time it took me to write a poem was nine years. I was in a Canadian city called Vancouver. I saw a dog hit by a car and went into a café and immediately wrote three or four lines, went back to my hotel, wrote a bit more, wrote some more on the plane going home and could never finish the poem. Every year for nine years I took this poem out and started trying to work on it again and finish it and it wasn't until nine years had passed that the idea for the ending came along. I think with poems it's like that, sometimes you have to wait for a while for the idea to reveal itself. On other occasions it's just a bit of a splurge, the idea's there, I'm writing the ideas are pouring out faster than I can write them down and the poem's written very very quickly.


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