This interview series, “Conversations after the Fall: Interviews with Contemporary Russian Poets,” began as part of my Thomas J. Watson Fellowship year (1992-1993). The interview with Russian poet, Alexander Makarov-Krotkov, took place in 1993.
Philip Metres: Why did you begin writing?
Alexander Makarov-Krotkov: I’m not sure. I began to read at a very early age, and took to poetry quite young because my father regularly quoted lines of poetry. And because during childhood I enjoyed [Sergei] Esenin (I can’t get rid of his influence) to the point of revulsion. I loved him so much when I was seven or nine—well, as a child. I think he’s not a poet for adults but for the young. So I really don’t read him anymore. He’s interesting but not enough to keep me reading. I don’t know why I began writing. I just stretched out my hand and began to rhyme some words. Naturally, it was all pretty light stuff, but. . . it’s hard to say exactly why. I’ve been writing poems practically since childhood, since my school days. The poems from childhood were just a form of play. Professionally, I began to write at about the age of 19.