I think that’s an important point, and a tough lesson to learn — that we need to trust our readers. Sometimes I still err in one direction or another, and posting poems here can help clue me into that: for example, if several readers miss what I thought was the point of the poem.

I do feel more than one epigram or note at the beginning of a poem that’s one page in length or shorter makes it visually and perhaps conceptually top-heavy. I had an interesting (and very congenial) argument with Diane Wakoski over the second poem of hers that we published for your Health issue of qarrtsiluni. She had had a five-line epigraph from Gary Snyder plus a note about Isadore Duncan’s death at the beginning of the poem, in addition to an endnote about William Stafford’s “Travelling Through the Dark” for anyone who was unfamiliar with the poem. Although I was pleased that she agreed to move both notes to the end of the poem, I also admired her populist instinct to err on the side of caution in making sure readers understood the references — which is quite different from telling them how to think about the poem, of course. I’m not sure the Snyder epigraph was completely necessary (here’s the poem again) but I think for her it was a shout-out to a long-time friend and contemporary.