The Gravel Pit

Questions and Answers

What inspired “The Gravel Pit”?

“The Gravel Pit” is a “concrete” poem: a poem which primarily exists to be seen, as print on a page, as a sort of picture with words instead of drawings. The poem would be better if it were printed on a broader page so that the skunk tracks could be seen more clearly as going up one side. The poem presents itself as an experience, without any interpretation except of the visual (the skunk tracks suggest that the skunk dug, turned aside). The poem was inspired by my reading other concrete poems and deciding that I could make one too.

What poetic techniques did you use in “The Gravel Pit”?

I do not find it useful to talk about “technique” in a poem; I am more comfortable with the word “style”—e.g. is this poem written in a relaxed conversational style, or in a meditative and very personal style, or in a joking style, or in a musical or in a chanting style, etc.

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