He wrote an incredible amount of verse– two thousand pages of it in Library of America editions so far — and to my own frustration, I never catch him nodding. Clichés of popular speech wink from here and there, but they are never slips. He had the gift for elevating the plain and common to a fine opacity, in glinting sea-light rich and knelling strange, in the ding-dong of his internal half-rhymes and sparkling assonance amid, as he put it, the weird fragrances of Persian and Aramaic. Sight, sound, smell: but all in American English. And all to no purpose, no purpose at all, that was not poetic.