The greatest influence on the book as a whole, the form and the content, is poetry. I think that its form reflects itself as a series of exposed moments as opposed to a more traditional narrative that will lead you up to a moment and away from a moment, often with reflection. My concern was with illuminating that moment as directly and intensely as possible, and then feeling free to drop it with sort of an elliptical connection to the next scene, and let the reader do the work. That is one of many ways that poetry works for me. And as far as the content, Tess’ voice is not my voice. I write nonfiction as well, and the voice is a lot harder and a touch more analytical and wizened, because [Tess] is an experiment in the kind of voice that we associate with Romantic poetry, which is one that is pensive, but gives over easily to joy and to melancholy. I spoke about Keats many times with [the book character] Simone. Emily Dickinson is in the book as well, and that’s on purpose. Emily Dickinson wouldn’t consider herself a Romantic, but I do. That’s her character. She’s someone who I see as a poet-soul, so to speak. It’s a word I often give to people who may or may not be artists, but who have this way, this hypersensitivity to the world, and this sort of lust and curiosity about it. I call them poet-souls.

-Stephanie Danler in interview here

The sensation that someone somewhere was doing something nice for me, such as placing a piece of breaded fish on a pre-heated baking tray in a fan-assisted oven, dissipated the instant the sun left the room; the commonplace order of things reasserted itself with an inhumane brusqueness, and since nothing in my immediate locale belonged to me I felt useless and insipid.

From Pond, Claire Louise Bennett