In 1966 or so I began writing a poem that very soon went beyond my conception of where or when it would end. To cope with its extensibility and rein it in as it galloped along, I made up a flexible long-and-short line combination, a five alternating with a two stress line. I did not think of it deliberately at the time, but I may have been remembering something of those loose long forms which Louis MacNeice adapted to everyday subjects in Autumn Journal, a poem I loved immediately when I read it at nineteen.
Spring Journal (now Spring One) was published as the third section of a book of poems with that title by Wesleyan University Press ( Middletown, Conn., 1968 ). Spring Two, Spring Three, and Spring Four continue the story to the present date, my fiftieth birthday.
September 3, 1969