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I did not have a very literary background. I came to poetry from the sciences and mathematics, and also through an interest in Japanese and Chinese poetry in translation.
The first function of poetry is to tell the truth, to learn how to do that, to find out what you really feel and what you really think.
I think that one possible definition of our modern culture is that it is one in which nine-tenths of our intellectuals can't read any poetry.
I wanted to write poetry almost a little more than I wanted to eat.
As a schoolboy, poetry seemed defined by preciousness. It was all very rarefied.
Poetry is for me Eucharistic. You take someone else's suffering into your body, their passion comes into your body, and in doing that you commune, you take communion, you make a community with others.
You can be intuitive when you've got a more expansive role. You can get into the poetry of telling the story rather than just pushing buttons.
Stylized acting and direction is to realistic acting and direction as poetry is to prose.
There are distinct duties of a poet laureate. I plan a reading series at the Library of Congress and advise the librarian. The rest is how I want to promote poetry.
When I was 18, I took a trip to Thailand with a friend. We stayed for a month. Bangkok was very raw for a teenager: there were no cellphones, no Internet, and the only music I had with me was this cassette by Liz Phair. I was writing a lot of poetry, and she embodied a talky style of songwriting that I found very accessible.
The lines of poetry, the period of prose, and even the texts of Scripture most frequently recollected and quoted, are those which are felt to be preeminently musical.
Deals are my art form. Other people paint beautifully on canvas or write wonderful poetry. I like making deals, preferably big deals. That's how I get my kicks.
The sources of poetry are in the spirit seeking completeness.
I want to be the best advocate and promoter for poetry that I can be.
History gives you insight of the same quality of truth as poetry or philosophy or a novel.
With a poetry book I can send 100 copies out to reviewers and other people, and even do it in advance and get their response. It's difficult with iPad: how do you send it out for free, and how do you even disseminate it before it goes into their store?
I think people turn to poetry more often than they think they do, or encounter it in more ways than they think that they do. I think we forget the places that we encounter it, say, in songs or in other little bits and pieces of things that we may have remembered from childhood.
I am fascinated by the engineering. The science of constructing and understanding why it stands. And I am drawn by the madness, the beauty, the theatricality, the poetry and soul of the wire. And you cannot be a wire-walker without mingling those two ways of seeing life.
If I have to make a self-portrait, I would put poetry and rebellion on the list. To be able to walk on a wire, to be able to juggle six hoops, you need focus, another word for tenacity, which is passion.
If our hearts are ready for anything, we are touched by the beauty and poetry and mystery that fill our world.
The great watershed of modern poetry is French, more than English.
Never fear: Thank Home, and Poetry, and the Force behind both.
The idea that myth is the opposite of knowledge, or the opposite of truth, is simply to disallow it. It is like saying poetry is the opposite of truth.
Have you ever heard a good joke? If you've ever heard someone just right, with the right pacing, then you're already on the way to poetry. It's about using words in very precise ways and using gesture.
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.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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