The Silent Treatment

Richard Howard

“I don’t like direct self-expression. All the work that I do is some kind of invocation of or transaction with others, whether it’s criticism, translation, or poetry. There are poems that are direct self-expression, but certainly, with some sense of preference, there is an enterprise which involves speaking through a mask, a persona. That’s what the word means: sounding through—sonans per—and I like the idea of the mask or the masks, because I’m more interested in the dialogue of others than in merely the dialogue with another—the dialogue of the others who are out there, who are not me.”
—Richard Howard