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Sometimes the only way I know how to work through something is by writing a poem. And sometimes I get to the end of the poem and look back and go, 'Oh, that's what this is all about,' and sometimes I get to the end of the poem and haven't solved anything, but at least I have a new poem out of it.
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 divine spark leaps from the finger of God to the finger of Adam, whether it takes ultimate shape in a law of physics or a law of the land, a poem or a policy, a sonata or a mechanical computer.
Alfred Whitney Griswold
I entered a poem in a poetry contest around 1987, and the poem won and I received $1,000 for it. That made me realize that maybe what I was writing was worth reading to people. After that, for some reason, I turned to novels and I've written mainly novels ever since.
Sometimes you have a poem that you really want to write and it never happens.
C. K. Williams
When you know the lyrics to a tune, you have some kind of insight as to it's composition. If you don't understand what it's about, you're depriving yourself of being really able to communicate this poem.
If that voice that you created that is most alive in the poem isn't carried throughout the whole poem, then I destroy where it's not there, and I reconstruct it so that that voice is the dominant voice in the poem.
Learn poetry by heart. If you know a poem by heart, no one can take it away from you, and you can take advantage of it anytime.
The fact that The Bridge contains folk lore and other material suitable to the epic form need not therefore prove its failure as a long lyric poem, with interrelated sections.
I wrote two poems about the '81 uprisings: 'Di Great Insohreckshan' and 'Mekin Histri.' I wrote those two poems from the perspective of those who had taken part in the Brixton riots. The tone of the poem is celebratory because I wanted to capture the mood of exhilaration felt by black people at the time.
Linton Kwesi Johnson
Let my life as Poet begin. I want the life of the Poet. I have labored for over twelve years, one thousand pages of prose. Now, I want the easiness of poetry. The brevity of the poem.
Maxine Hong Kingston
It really gets on my goat that people keep quoting Dorothea Mackellar's 'My Country' as proof that there is no such thing as climate change. A poem written more than 100 years ago by a homesick 19 year old versus an ever-increasing body of refereed scientific thought... hmm, hard to know which way to jump, really.
One reason to write a poem is to flush from the deep thickets of the self some thought, feeling, comprehension, question, music, you didn't know was in you, or in the world.
What I responded to, on the page, was the way a poem could liberate, by means of a word's setting, through subtleties of timing, of pacing, that word's full and surprising range of meaning. It seemed to me that simple language best suited this enterprise.
Style is not something applied. It is something that permeates. It is of the nature of that in which it is found, whether the poem, the manner of a god, the bearing of a man. It is not a dress.
Most students of literature can pick apart a metaphor or spot an ethnic stereotype, but not many of them can say things like: 'The poem's sardonic tone is curiously at odds with its plodding syntax.'
What is the poem, after it is written? That is the question. Not where it came from or why.
There are different gradations of personhood in different poems. Some of them seem far away from me and some up close, and the up-close ones generally don't say what I want them to say. And that's true of the persona in the poem who's lamenting this as a fact of a certain stage of life. But it's also true of me as me.
Every old poem is sacred.
There's a crystallization that goes on in a poem which the young man can bring off, but which the middle-aged man can't.
Imagine writing a poem with a sweating, worried-looking boy handing you a different pencil at the end of every word. My golf, you may say, is no poem; nevertheless, I keep wanting it to be one.
Strictly speaking, the idea of a scientific poem is probably as nonsensical as that of a poetic science.
Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel
A poem need not have a meaning and like most things in nature often does not have.
In a funny way, poems are suited to modern life. They're short, they're intense. Nobody has time to read a 700-page book. People read magazines, and a poem takes less time than an article.
I don't think of poetry as a 'rational' activity but as an aural one. My poems usually begin with words or phrases which appeal more because of their sound than their meaning, and the movement and phrasing of a poem are very important to me.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
C. S. Lewis
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