“Jane has almost made a giraffe
Out of clay
The muscles are there
Beneath the skin
Only the breath is missing
Moving in and out of his nostrils
I said, I find it’s like that with poems
They come as you sculpt them
Out of formless beginnings
The shape of life can emerge
And the more you take away
The more is there
First it’s just a lump of clay
Then a giraffe”

Photo from Mr E_edited.jpg

"At once we notice the strong visual image, a characteristic of all his poems. The first six lines describe the almost finished clay model of a giraffe and Jane, its maker. With the utmost ease the poet sees such making as analogous to writing a poem. The makings are similar: the real lump of clay for the toy; the bits and pieces of experience scribbled into words and images for the poem. The final shape for each is revealed by taking away and not by addition."