Quote of the Day
- Page 31
A glance at the history of European poetry is enough to inform us that rhyme itself is not indispensable. Latin poetry in the classical age had no use for it, and the kind of Latin poetry that does rhyme - as for instance the medieval 'Carmina Burana' - tends to be somewhat crude stuff in comparison with the classical verse that doesn't.
In the writing of poetry we never know anything for sure. We will never know if we have 'trained' or 'practised' enough. We will never be able to say that we have reached grade eight, or that we have left the grades behind and are now embarked on an advanced training.
Lyric poetry is, of course, musical in origin. I do know that what happened to poetry in the twentieth century was that it began to be written for the page. When it's a question of typography, why not? Poets have done beautiful things with typography - Apollinaire's 'Calligrammes,' that sort of thing.
We're all just animals. That's all we are, and everything else is just an elaborate justification of our instincts. That's where music comes from. And romantic poetry. And bad novels.
Translation is an interestingly different way to be involved both with poetry and with the language that I've found myself living in much of the time. I think the two feed each other.
The same people who are murdered slowly in the mechanized slaughterhouses of work are also arguing, singing, drinking, dancing, making love, holding the streets, picking up weapons and inventing a new poetry.
I've been writing a lot of poetry recently. It helps me think and work things out.
I think poetry is the only domain where a writer you like can truly be said to influence you, because you read and reread a poem so many times that it simply drills itself into your head.
I hardly remember how I started to write poetry. It's hard to imagine what I thought poetry could do.
The first thing I tried to do in the months after losing my mother was to write a poem. I found myself turning to poetry in the way so many people do - to make sense of losses. And I wrote pretty bad poems about it. But it did feel that the poem was the only place that could hold this grief.
While also, importantly, not wanting to dumb it down or pretend the days of 'difficult' poetry are over, because we live in a pluralist culture and there's room for 'difficult' poetry alongside rap and everything else. And poetry won't be for everyone, but everyone should have the choice.
Somehow, the words don't have any vitality, any life to them, unless I can feel it marking on a paper. That's how I start. Once I'm off, then I switch to the laptop. I think it would all just be prose if it started on a laptop - not that what I do is poetry.
Part of what we love about poetry is the fact that it seems ancient, that it has an authority of ancient language and ancient form, and that it's timeless, that it reaches back.
The Language Poets are writing only about language itself. The Ashbery poets are writing only about poetry itself. That seems to me a kind of dead end.
It's always good when women win things in fiction because it tends to be more male-dominated, unlike poetry, which is more equal.
Carol Ann Duffy
As a kid, I loved 'Godot' because of the poetry and the humor and the strangeness, but then as you get older, it's much more resonant.
Stadium rock and commercial rock are the opposite of what poetry needs. An audience of around 200 is ideal for poetry.
The tradition of Russian literature is also an eastern tradition of learning poetry and prose by heart.
And if they haven't got poetry in them, there's nothing you can do that will produce it.
And the second question, can poetry be taught? I didn't think so.
When I was asked to be Writer in Residence at Edinburgh I thought, you can't teach poetry. This is ridiculous.
Prose talks and poetry sings.
Poetry is the key to the hieroglyphics of nature.
Poetry is the most intimate of all writing. I want to speak first from me to myself and then from me to you.
The trouble with us in America isn't that the poetry of life has turned to prose, but that it has turned to advertising copy.
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
John F. Kennedy
Leonardo da Vinci
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