Poetry isn’t always easy to create or even to digest, but for 89-year old poet Victor di Suvero, writing the stuff isn’t optional so much as a weekly ritual. A lifelong fan of Dante Alighieri’s opus poem, The Divine Comedy, di Suvero has expressed himself over 14 collections and will release his newest poetic works, compiled under the title Once Again, this Saturday at The Lodge at Santa Fe (4 pm, free, 750 N St. Francis Drive, 316-3736). This new compilation finds di Suvero revisiting emotions from his years as a writer and, since we fully believe in the wisdom the comes from a lifetime of experience, we called him up to talk poetry and get some advice.
How did you get into the poetry game?
I started early on, when I was about 17 years old, when the government wouldn’t take me into the Army or the Air Corps because I was too young. The Merchant Marines did take me aboard, and the first poems I wrote were all on ships. I went to sea for five years. This was in 1942 to 1947, and all the first poems I wrote were about the sea. My very first collection was called Salt and the Heart’s Horizons.
Why did you specifically gravitate toward poetry as opposed to other forms of literature?
It’s a form where you could let your heart and feelings out and have it all on one page in a concise manner.
Do you have any advice for young or fledgling poets out there?
Yes I do. It is important to express your feelings. Do not be afraid to get your feelings out, because, generally speaking, whether it’s love or it’s daily life or hope, people seem to be afraid to express their feelings. Everybody has feelings that they want to express; hope is the one feeling that I’ve always had and that I’ve always expressed.