As far as I can remember, “To a Young Poet I Once Knew” is the last poem I ever wrote.
I had pretty much quit writing poetry by this time because I had grown bored with my own voice. It was too much like Eliot, too much like Crane. I felt I had failed to develop my own cadance, my own poetic expression, and I was frustrated.
With this poem, I attempted to change my rhythms, change my approach to metaphor. In some spots, I think I succeeded, but it still reads too much like a “Howard Owens” poem.
I now forget the initial inspiration for the poem, but its not hard to imagine that I had recently read some morose poem and thought it a bit overwrought. The whole goth thing is not very interesting to me. Reading it now, I can’t help but think of Kurt Cobain.