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“the poem in question is The Descent of Alette, and dreaming of owls helped me to place the owl character in the poem. I love to write long poems, to be utterly involved in a particular poem as a way of living a life. My initial interest in the long poem stems from the fact that I like to read long poems, but prefer as simple reading matter the works of Chaucer, Dante, Homer etc, not the works of the Modernists. Though I’ve learned a lot from Olson and Williams for example, I’ve never sat around just reading their long poems. So The Descent of Alette is a poem that seeks to return the story to the long poem: and Disobedience goes for a slightly different kind of entertainment. The story isn’t ‘hard’ — by which I mean it isn’t in hard outline — but there are fast-talking characters and a rapid witty movement to the poem that pushes it forward in a way similar to that of a hard narrative line. But yes, too, my interest in the long poem has to do with taking it away from men, though two of my favorite long works are Inanna’s Descent into the Underworld — a Sumerian epic peopled mostly by goddesses — and Christine de Pisan’s The City of Women, La Citè des Dames, so I also feel the pressure of a feminized tradition.”