Richard Lyons on "Inaccessible" Poetry

I don’t enjoy reading poems that keep things simplistic for populist reasons. When writers talk about clarity as “accessibility,” I break out in hives. The easier a poem is to paraphrase the more forgettable it is. Reading poetry crazy enough to aspire to endure the ages requires emotional work on the writer’s part and the reader’s part. Many Americans assume that much poetry and fiction—in my mother’s words—is “above them.” But I know many smart, working-class readers, and working-class people are not afraid of work.

Richard Lyons, Prairie Schooner Interview, I Do Not Have a Particular Home, Place, or People.