on poetry

February 1, 2023

“It’s fascinating how you write a book. You consciously weave certain things in. Then some things are unconsciously woven into the book, both because you write one poem at a time but also because the motivations for each poem exist within the world of that poem. They subconsciously transcend the world of that poem and go to other places.”
Reginald Dwayne Betts
(b. February 1, 1980)

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quote

on poetry

January 21, 2023

“Don’t you think details help you focus? Sometimes it’s only by listening in the falling darkness for the chittering of small invisible sparrows that you’re able to locate the Great Horned Owl.”
Forrest Gander
(b. January 21, 1956)

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photo by Ashwini Bhat
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on poetry

January 3, 2023

“I’ve always had this chronicle-compulsion, just didn’t realize for a long time, that my addiction to writing things down was part of a writing practice, was what defined me as a writer: images, sounds, rhythms, always these were in-coming to me and I took them, language-bits: held, rubbed, stored, taken-out again. My father reading me Mother Goose Nursery rhymes, me, a copy-cat, inventing my own. Scribbling.”
Renee Sarojini Saklikar
(b. January 3)

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photo by Sandra Vander Schaaf
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on poetry

December 30, 2022


“One must write poetry in such as way that if one threw the poem in a window, the pane would break.”
Daniil Kharms
(December 30, 1905 – February 2, 1942)

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bonus article by George Saunders

on poetry

December 29, 2022


“I’ve sometimes drawn a parallel between poets and prophets because both speak into a culture that finds it hard to listen. Both bear the burden of calling some aspect of reality to our attention.”
Luci N. Shaw
(b. December 29, 1928)

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on poetry

December 26, 2022

“Most novices picture themselves as masters — and are content with the picture. This is why there are so few masters.”
Jean Toomer
(December 26, 1894 – March 30, 1967)

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quote from Essentials (Hill Street Press)

on poetry

December 8, 2022


“Do not complain beneath the stars about the lack of bright spots in your life.”

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
(December 8, 1832 – April 26, 1910)

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on poetry

December 2, 2022

[on ballads] “…it was the simple singing words again and not the over intellectual poetry which is so difficult for so many people including me to really understand at all.”
Helen Adam
(December 2, 1909 – September 19, 1993)

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quote
more on Helen Adam, and yet more

on poetry

November 10, 2022

“A teacher can teach almost anybody to write a good poem. That is, one that follows the old rules of rhetoric, tone, structure, symbolism. They’re laboratory poems. They look very like the real thing, as artificial flowers do. What they lack is life.”
Karl Shapiro
(November 10, 1913 – May 14, 2000)

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on poetry

November 5, 2022

“While in prison, reading was what I needed to beat back all that noise and silence, those horrible silences. In the end, an ink pen was the only way to carve a voice out of the air and have others hear it.”
Reginald Dwayne Betts
(b. November 5, 1980)

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