<Previous      Next>
Transom:
The word “smart” in the last line of "A Little Husky" seems to suggest intelligence and pain. Is this poem asserting that both registers of “smart” have to be earned simultaneously?

Gaye:
Yes, this is a fair thing to say. As I am thinking about composing this poem, I seem to recall tumbling over this word as if an imperfect fulcrum. Necessary and sore, I recall. Both to the poem and the poem's subject.

Transom:
 We’re struck by the abundance of “h” sounds in the last third of the poem, which seem to draw the reader into a kind of aspirated breathlessness. Is this emphasis on the sounds of your words central to your poetics?

Gaye:
Composing I think of lilts, of the voice and more importantly the chin (and the body) registering up and down, back and forth, an arc. Here at this point the poem takes me downward, speaking (bodily, out loud) to something smallish and quiet. For me, elsewhere maybe not, who knows, but here, yes, I think sonically this poem is acting that way. Hush now. I guess I could have wrote it that way.