It seems to me that most contemporary poetry not only internalized, but got devoured by today’s dominant genre of prose. Once born into the struggle with poetical conventionality, free verse became confined within its own prosaic formalism.

But in imitating prose, free verse fails to reach the dialogism of prose – moreover, in its infinite monologue, it destroys any dialogical form of interpersonal relations it borrows from prose. When no addressee is wanted, no addressee is found.

That is why I never write to an anonymous recipient – I write only to a specific person and hand the poem to him. I have written poetry for some 25 or so years, and finally realized that the very same feeling about some event or person, when expressed to different people, sounds and gets expressed differently. So in a sense, my revolution in poetry consists in returning to the source – to the oral culture, with its immediate necessity.

And then, if poetry can do this – realize the dialogue, and realize it to a greater degree than a novel, to a greater vitality, urgency, and hence to more meaningfulness – then Bakhtin was indeed wrong, and poetry can survive in its competition with the fictional prose.

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