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Sunday, August 12, 2012

17 Random Quotes about Writing/Poetry

465. Only half of writing is saying what you mean. The other half is preventing people from reading what they expected you to mean.     ~James Richardson, from Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays

Writing a poem is one of the ways to love the world. ~Stephen Dobyns

…discussing the ideas of Helene Cixous about writing, we know that language itself “remembers,” as she says, what we do not remember.      ~Reginald Gibbons, On Rhyme, APR, Nov./Dec. 2006

…that poets are those to whom the difficulty of writing gives ideas, not those from whom it takes them away.    ~Reginald Gibbons, On Rhyme, APR, Nov./Dec. 2006

But there is no such thing as a perfectly adequate poem, because a poem into which some strange and surprising excellence has not entered, a poem that is not in some inexplicable way beyond the will of the poet, is not a poem.    ~ Christian Wiman, Poetry, Dec. 2006

A poem is a machine for remembering itself.     ~Don Paterson, Strong Words

Anyone who begins a sentence "as a poet I" is probably not a poet. It's like calling yourself a saint." ~Michael Longley

Poetry is philosophy's sister, the one that wears makeup.  ~Jennifer Grotz

He who knows a hundred poems sounds like a hundred poems; he who knows a thousand poems sounds like himself.    ~Chinese proverb

Sound is precious, sense can be beat into shape.   ~Rita Ann Higgins

Milton, on the other hand, was right when he said that poetry should be simple—as Paradise Lost is simple—but this simplicity must be arrived at by a very devious route or it will not be poetry.  ~Burns Singer

All one's inventions are true, you can be sure of that. Poetry is as exact a science as geometry.    ~Gustav Flaubert

There's nothing more embarrassing than being a poet, really.   ~Elizabeth Bishop

Energy within the poet goes into the poem, but then must go from the poem to a reader or listener. There has to be this transfer of energy.   ~Muriel Rukeyser
A poem is an empty suitcase that you can never quit emptying.    ~Kay Ryan
The reason we go to poetry is not for wisdom, but for the dismantling of wisdom.  ~Jacques Laçan

I've no ambitions or desires. / My being a poet isn't an ambition. / It's my way of being alone.  ~Fernando Pessoa

The flawed moon
acts on the truth, and makes
an autumn of tentative
You lived, but somewhere else,
your presence touched others, ring upon ring,
and changed. Did you think
I would not change?

The black moon
turns away, its work done. A tenderness,
unspoken autumn.
We are faithful
only to the imagination. What the


Carol said...

Oh these are wonderful! I espcially like Bishop's and Pessoa's. You should make some kind of poster with these....

Jessica Goodfellow said...

These are great, aren't they?