The Fall 2014 issue of Agave Magazine is here, featuring As The Teeter-Totter Sways by Peggy Aylsworth. With a creative process cultivated over decades of feeding the imagination, the 93-year-old poet is confident in her initial impulse, trusting her poems to unfold on their own accord; she rarely lingers in the rewriting and editing stage. We asked Peggy to share a few insights on poetry in general and her concise yet fanciful voice in particular, and just what it is about a good metaphor that never fails to pique her interest.
AGAVE MAGAZINE: You first began writing poetry at age seven, and have been known to write a poem a day, noting in an interview with your granddaughter that "the poem writes itself." What motivates you to write?
PEGGY AYLSWORTH: I write poetry because it satisfies my need for the nurturance I get from the imagination, a spiritual enrichment. I feel gratified when my work speaks to others.
How would you characterize the role that poetry plays in your life?
Poetry keeps my inner and outer vision alert.
What poet has had the single biggest influence on your style?
Wallace Stevens... because he encourages me to both leap and rely on original, imaginative metaphors.
What is it about metaphor that appeals to you so much?
My love of metaphor stems from my belief that "telling it slant" captures the truth with more vision than literal language.
What is your take on contemporary poetry?
I love imaginative, original language but find much contemporary poetry is too flat, too much like "lazy" prose. Dean Young and Barbara Hamby are in my view just two exceptions to that judgement.
Read the full Fall 2014 issue online here. Hard copies of all issues of Agave Magazine are now available to order through our online shop!