The force of poetry known as Molly Peacock has brushed my life in several ways over the years, most recently in her thoughtful and moving essay "The Plexiglass Wall and the Vital Verb," from Judith Scherer Herz's 2017 anthology John Donne and Contemporary Poetry (Palgrave). (This anthology brings together essays and poems by scholars and poets in surprising and wonderfully resonant ways -- highly recommended.) Molly graciously and generously agreed to explore with me some of the various paths that brought her to poetry, that essay, and beyond. SUSAN GILLIS: How did you first come to poetry, or it to you? MOLLY PEACOCK: About the year 1200, a speaker of Old French wanted to separate the distinctive from the ordinary, something beyond the general category of species (kind or form). The word especial was born. About 1955, an eight-year-old girl, the first-born in her working-class family in Buffalo, New York, was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up.