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 Arvo Mets, regarded a master of Russian free verse, took place in 1993. Thanks to Danny Caine for his editorial suggests.
Philip Metres: When did you begin writing poems?
Arvo Mets: I wrote poems in childhood, in Estonian. But rhymed poems came out poorly for me; I always felt that something just wasn’t quite right. The real poetic breakthrough happened when I was twenty-three, in the spring of 1961. In March I wrote my first poems, and it kept going from there. In 1961 I wrote and wrote, in 1962 wrote and wrote without rest. Like a racer on a horse. Continue reading