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The poet Melvin B. Tolson once said, 'A civilization is judged only in its decline.' That made sense to me. I would imagine the same is true for poets and tennis players.
I was always interested in French poetry sort of as a sideline to my own work, I was translating contemporary French poets. That kind of spilled out into translation as a way to earn money, pay for food and put bread on the table.
Most poets in their youth begin in adolescent sadness. I find it more rewarding to end in gladness.
All poets' wives have rotten lives Their husbands look at them like knives.
The Romantic poets were the prototype ramblers, and I've often found myself following in their footsteps - although perhaps not all of their footsteps since a typical walk for Samuel T. Coleridge might last two days and cover 145km.
In Russia all tyrants believe poets to be their worst enemies.
But poets were not considered dangerous and they were advised to exercise self-censorship. At most, poets were requested not to write at all. I took advantage of this negative liberty.
To see the Persia of poets and painters, hiding in plain sight behind the much-maligned Iran of our newspaper headlines, would be my fondest wish.
I actually very rarely see comedy myself, and although I admire the work of some comics, it does come from all over, so I'll get a charge out of some fiction writers and poets.
Poets are always ahead of things in a certain way, their sense of language and their vision.
I'm not, by nature, a collaborator. My biggest influences were people like painters and poets. These are solitary workers.
America may have great poets and novelists, but she never will have more than one necromancer.
Rebecca Harding Davis
At the age of 18 all young poets are sure they will be dead at 21 - of old age.
I think one of the things that people tend to forget is that poets do write out of life. It isn't some set piece that then gets put up on the shelf, but that the impetus, the real instigation for poetry is everything that's happening around us.
Poets are born, not paid.
Many poets in Iran have learned to speak almost a secret language, where political issues are talked about in allegorical ways.
I feel very connected to poets across the country.
Poets can't resist the dramatic pull of their lives and so inevitably write autobiographical verse.
Writers, particularly poets, always feel exiled in some way - people who don't exactly feel at home, so they try to find a home in language.
And if we must educate our poets and artists in science, we must educate our masters, labour and capital, in art.
John B. S. Haldane
Never use the word 'audience.' The very idea of a public, unless the poet is writing for money, seems wrong to me. Poets don't have an 'audience'. They're talking to a single person all the time.
A lot of poets too live on the margins of social acceptance, they certainly aren't in it for the money. William Blake - only his first book was legitimately published.
There have always been poets who performed. Blake sang his Songs of Innocence and Experience to parties of friends.
The first movie that made me cry was 'Dead Poets Society.' That one gets me. 'O Captain! My Captain!' That moment kills me.
On a summer night it can be lovely to sit around outside with friends after dinner and, yes, read poetry to each other. Keats and Yeats will never let you down, but it's differently exciting to read the work of poets who are still walking around out there.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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