He resists the idea that he was an ambassador for poetry as many characterize the Poet Laureate’s role. “I was not an ambassador for poetry,” as if he were a salesman for a brand of soap.
“I hope I wasn’t even an advocate for poetry,” he says. “I hope I was like that ape that has a good tasting piece of fruit in its hand and say to another ape, ‘Mmm. Tastes good.’” And a lot of the time I was not doing it at all, I was asking other people to do it and listening to what they had to say.”
Robert launched the ongoing Favorite Poem Project. It invites everyday people to introduce a poem that is meaningful to them, and then recite it on video for others.
Handsome fella, too.