Gregory Orr on poetry, myth and more

I've been a fan of the poet Gregory Orr for a few years now, and recently had the opportunity to talk with the man for the Paris Review. I mean it's exciting enough to write an article for the Paris Review – I've been reading Paris Review since I was a teen and getting to write even a short interview for them is a thrill. We covered a lot of ground in the interview, talking about his recent work and how it's changed over time, on the enduring power of myth and more.

His comments about myth have gotten a lot of attention:

"The beautiful thing about myths is that you’re never telling a myth, you’re retelling it. People already know the story. You don’t have to create a narrative structure, and you don’t have to figure out where it ends. As a lyric poet, you can take the moments of greatest intensity in the myth, or the moments that interest you most, or the ways of looking at the story that you think would be most fun to rethink—you don’t have to do the whole story. You want to know what human mystery can be revealed by retelling it. D. H. Lawrence said that myths are symbols of inexhaustible human mysteries. You can tell them a hundred, a thousand times, and you’ll never exhaust the mystery that’s coded into that story. That may be a little hyperbolic, but I believe it."

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