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Sharon Olds, interview, 1999 [US]:
Can you write a poem in half an hour?
Forty-five minutes is much better [laughs]. Many, many poets whose work I love, they take longer than I do to write a first draft. In a way, it doesn't matter how long it takes, if we can each just find the right way to do it. Everyone is so different. I sometimes wish I wrote in a different way. You know, that feeling of: So-and-so writes slowly, if only I wrote slowly. But it's just the way I work. I feel a very strong wish, when a poem does come to me, to write it and get to the end of it.

So you don't sit down every morning at 9 a.m. and say: Now I'm going to write a poem.
No. I don't know if there are many poets who do that. I think that there are fiction writers for whom that works well. I could never do it. I feel as if, by the time I see that it's a poem, it's almost written in my head somewhere. It's as if there's someone inside of me who perceives order and beauty -- and disorder. And who wants to make little copies. Who wants to put together something that will bear some relationship to the vision or memory or experience or story or idea or dream or whatever. Whatever starts things out.
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