A Poetry Daily Prose Feature:
"To be a poet: it is a grave and austere responsibility, is it not? Well, yes and no. If you've been pondering Shelley, Arnold, Rilke, Eliot, Akhmatova, Hart Crane, Plath, Celan, Adrienne Rich, or Geoffrey Hill recently, you perhaps feel it is—but even those intensely dissatisfied and sometimes desperate poets must sometimes have felt shots of sheer joy in knowing themselves to be poets and participating in the great endless dialogue of poetry. Perhaps no important poet has more consistently acknowledged the manifold pleasures of the vocation than Kenneth Koch (1925-2002). Throughout his amazingly, indeed almost bizarrely various poetry, we can always hear Koch's charismatic voice urging us not to deny the fun in poetry—the fun in writing it, reading it, arguing about it, daydreaming about it, knowing it is in the world."
—Mark Halliday, Koch and the Fun of Being a Poet