on poetry

October 21, 2021

“I usually read my new poems out loud because something that might look okay on the page might not sound right. Or vice versa, something that sounds good when it’s spoken doesn’t look right when it’s on the page.”
Ai
(October 21, 1947 – March 20, 2010)

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on poetry

October 15, 2021

“For me, it’s less a matter of inspiration and more a matter of process. I carry a little notebook in my pocket and throughout the day I overhear things, remember things or think of things and jot down notes and then every morning before it gets light, I have an appointment with myself and take out my notebook and pick something that caught my attention and find out what it wants to be.”
Kim Stafford
(b. October 15, 1949)

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photo by Brooke Herbert
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on poetry

October 2, 2021

“If I’m writing a long book, I stick only to that — unless a poem happens to come along. (I always stop everything for a poem.)”
Diana Hendry
(b. October 2, 1941)

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on poetry

September 20, 2021

“We carry our own wilderness with us.”
Stevie Smith
(September 20, 1902 – March 7, 1971)

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quote from Over the Frontier

on poetry

September 13, 2021

“You must have strong self-discipline. You are working alone. No one is employing you. No one is around to give you the sack if you don’t turn up for work, or to tick you off if you start slacking.”
Roald Dahl
(September 13, 1916 – November 23, 1990)

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on poetry

September 9, 2021

“….Who in the hell wanted to write a sonnet or a villanelle? We knew what we wanted to write. We wanted to write like the Beat poets, and we knew we wanted to write like Langston Hughes, although he did some form like blues and ballads. But there we were. And I realized from that class that form will not deform you. If I wanted to call myself a poet, it was important that I knew what all these other forms were about.”
Sonia Sanchez
(b. September 9, 1934)

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on poetry

August 28, 2021

“One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(August 28, 1749 – March 22, 1832)

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portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler

on poetry

August 21, 2021

“The best piece of advice that I was given, you know, and I was given this by my parents over the years, for any writer that is looking to capture their experiences, their imagination and put it down on the page, I would say three things. I’d say, one, read. Read everything you can get your hands on. Don’t just read in the genre that you’re writing in. Read.

“Inform yourself. Enhance your worldview. The second thing I would say, and you’re probably not going to like hearing this, I would say read. I would say read, you know, read something fun. You know, I’d say read something that you’re interested in. Go to the bookstore. Go to the library, you know. Check out a great book, you know. You may not like the first book you read, but there’s so many more. And the last piece of advice — I’ve never shared this with anyone. Read. You want to be a better writer? Read.”
Kwame Alexander
(b. August 21, 1968)

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on poetry

August 14, 2021

“…and if the worst comes to the worst, you can sit down and write sonnets to your inamorata’s eyebrow.”
Letitia Elizabeth Landon
(August 14, 1802 – October 15, 1838)

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quote from Experiments. Or, The Lover From Ennui.

on poetry

August 10, 2021

“I write out of curiosity — to see what language can do at the ‘limit-cases’ of writing. I believe that poetry constitutes the ‘R & D wing’ of language, reverse-engineering this alien technology for human expression. I build anti-gravity machines out of words.”
Christian Bök
(b. August 10, 1966)

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