He scrutinized such poems, thinking into every intimation, and his feelings seemed to float in the white space around the lines. There were marks on the page and there was the page. The white was vital to the soul of the poem.
(Don DeLillo, Cosmopolis)
These collected poems cover a period of around sixteen years of my life when I was a dedicated poet. My early poetic encounters were with Auden, Pound, and T.S. Eliot, among others, particularly the last. My musical encounters with jazz and contemporary pop. With Parker, Coltrane, Mulligan, Brubeck, Monk, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Mingus, and with Miles Davis, especially, who accompanied my hours of writing. And also with the Beatles, beat and protest music, particularly Bob Dylan, for their music but also for their lyrics. My visual arts encounters in modern art idioms sensitised me to the visual aspect of life which I transferred to the poem. Its physical architecture was as much a part of a poem for me as its content, colour, rhythms, and imagery.