Stephen O'Connor "Most of the nineteen poems in Yellow Valley came to me during one of the most extraordinarily productive periods of my writing life. My family and I had gone to France for a month, and our schedule did not allow me the uninterrupted concentration necessary to continue working on the book I had been writing. At the same time, I felt constrained by the intellectual and verbal habits developed over the previous decade. So I decided to experiment: I would write at least fourteen lines of poetry every morning, and none of it would make any sense. I saw almost instantly that everything I was writing was making a fair bit of sense, but since I was producing a great deal more than fourteen lines a day and all of it was feeling fresher and more true than anything I had written in years, I was content. The imagery in the poems was, naturally enough, suggested by the countryside in which I was staying, with the title image coming from the valley of unharvested wheat over which I would look every morning as I wrote. "The Yellow Valley poems collectively explore a paradox: we live in
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Jan 3, 2007
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