Quote of the Day
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Usually a life turned into a poem is misrepresented.
Poe's saying that a long poem is a sequence of short ones is perfectly just.
Just as a new scientific discovery manifests something that was already latent in the order of nature, and at the same time is logically related to the total structure of the existing science, so the new poem manifests something that was already latent in the order of words.
I have experienced healing through other writers' poetry, but there's no way I can sit down to write in the hope a poem will have healing potential. If I do, I'll write a bad poem.
No, I think that a person writes a poem because they have an inner urge of something that they want to express, and I think it's that inner urge that you want to express when you write a piece of music.
A really good poem is full of music.
Klopstock was questioned regarding the meaning of a passage in his poem. He replied, 'God and I both knew what it meant once; now God alone knows.'
Usually a poem takes shape accoustically - a line or a pair of lines will repeat itself in my ear.
In a manner of speaking, the poem is its own knower, neither poet nor reader knowing anything that the poem says apart from the words of the poem.
I deliberately wrote a poem in my last book where I was suggesting that there are other passions as great as or more important than the passion of sex.
I'm uncomfortable with the focus on the poet and not on the poem.
Writing can sometimes be exploitative. I like to take a few steps of remove in order to respect the privacy of the subject. If readers make the link, they have engaged with the poem.
One of my favorite passages in 'Leaves of Grass,' that breathless, exuberant poem so rich and full of innocence and joy and generosity and compassion, is 'Mannahatta.'
A writer's work often reflects what he or she has been exposed to in life; experiences which are the groundwork of a poem or a story.
I do not usually revise much, though I often cut, particularly the end or toward the end of a poem.
My sense of a poem - my notion of how you revise - is: you get yourself into a state where what you are intensely conscious of is not why you wrote it or how you wrote it, but what you wrote.
When I was 3, I recited a poem at a festival in Passaic, New Jersey. The applause was tremendous, and it hit me that I could affect people positively by performing.
Knowing some Greek helped defuse forbidding words - not that I counted much on using them. You'll find only trace elements of this language in the poem.
We took Beowulf, the epic poem in Old English, and put it right together with John Gardner's contemporary retelling. If you bring it into today, we really feel that it has something very fresh to say now.
If I'm working on a poem, it's at the forefront of my mind; I'm working on it when I'm cooking dinner or stretched out on the sofa. But if I don't really have it by the 10th draft, I know it just isn't going to jell.
Of course a poem is a two-way street. No poem is any good if it doesn't suggest to the reader things from his own mind and recollection that he will read into it, and will add to what the poet has suggested. But I do think poetry readings are very important.
With me it's the whole thing, it's the conceit, the idea, what the poem is saying. And it goes on just as long as is necessary to say what needs to be said.
Poems have a different music from ordinary language, and every poem has a different kind of music of necessity, and that's, in a way, the hardest thing about writing poetry is waiting for that music, and sometimes you never know if it's going to come.
C. K. Williams
The last thing a young artist should do in poetry or any other field is think about what's in style, what's current, what are the trends. Think instead of what you like to read, what do you admire, what you like to listen to in music. What do you like to look at in architecture? Try to make a poem that has some of those qualities.
A dark poem is meant to redeem the dark part.
C. K. Williams
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