As far as the business of reading – education – I think that unfortunately the universities hinder it rather than help it usually because they make reading and education a chore rather than something that you enjoy doing. But certainly I think that any poet who is going to write decent poetry in this modern age where we don’t have the ballad tradition anymore, where you could get by with practically no furniture, and let’s squat on the floor, ma’am, and that sort of thing – I do think that just the average young poet ought to read as many books as he can and they ought to not be in paperback. They ought to be books that nobody’s read and that aren’t fashionable, and things which are about animal husbandry or what saline solutions are like with octopuses or something like that. It doesn’t really matter too much. But he certainly ought to have more stock in his mind than he has.
« Vancouver lectures »éd. Peter Gizzi
The House That Jack Built : The Collected Lectures of Jack Spicer
Wesleyan University Press 1998