From Peter Stitt, The World's Hieroglyphic Beauty: Five American Poets, a question for Richard Wilbur:
Were you paid for the poem [Wilbur's first, written at age eight]?
And Wilbur answers:
Yes, a dollar. I still have the dollar somewhere. Over there in that silo, which I cannot unlock because I've mislaid the key, there are all sorts of brown boxes full of memorabilia and I think one of them contains the dollar.
Later in the interview, Wilbur says:
My process of self-exploration is almost as strangely indirect as that of Beau Brummel in a story that I remember hearing told about him. Somebody asked Brummell which of the northern lakes he preferred. He turned to his valet and said, "Which of the northern lakes do I prefer?"
"I believe it is Windermere, sir," the valet replied.
So Brummell said to his questioner, "Apparently it is Windermere."
I see some resemblance between that process and the process by which I make discoveries about myself. I ask some poem to write itself, and once I am through supervising that process, I have discovered whether I like Windermere or not.