Part 3 of the interview begins where part 2 ends, with the question
of what drives Norse to write his kind of poetry.
Norse discusses his abusive father, the pain of his isolation as a
writer, and the years he spent in the closet.
He feels like a man without category.
He is not from the élite and he is not entirely of the poor.
He is not working class but he is not rich.
Norse was 53 in 1969, the year of the Stonewall Riots.
Norse discusses recently published letters he received as a
young writer from W.H. Auden.
Auden advised Norse to accept the locked doors of the
literary world as a sign of his true calling in life as a saint.
When Norse speaks of a politically correct left, he means an academic
élite that restrains the use of a certain kind of language even when it’s
essential to the work.
Section 3 of the interview closes with a question of identify:
“It seems to me that you’re making more than a writer when you take
an illiterate and give him the ability to express himself with a self
conscious understanding of his real social and political position. That
is an extremely powerful thing to do and it can be devastating.”
Interview with Harold Norse, Part 1 Section 3- Saints and Self Destruction
An Interview With Harold Norse, Part One: The Art of Teaching
Header image is a flyer for a production of Bobby. The figure is a shaman.