Quotes About Poetry From Poets

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Quotes About Poetry From Poets

Robert Frost didnt like to explain his poems—and for good reason: to explain a poem is to suck the air from its lungs. This does not mean, however, that poets shouldnt talk about their poetry, or that one shouldnt ask questions about it. Rather, it suggests that any discussion of poetry should celebrate its ultimate ineffability and in so doing lead one to further inquiry. I think of that wonderful scene from Elie Wiesels memoir, Night, where Mosche the Beadle of the local synagogue, in dialogue with the young, precocious author, explains: Every question possesses a power that does not lie in the answer.
— Tony Leuzzi —

Summer in the trees! "It is time to strangle several bad poets." /
The yellow hobbyhorse rocks to and fro, and from the chimney / Drops the Strangler! The white and pink roses are slightly agitated by the struggle, / But afterwards beside the dead "poet" they cuddle up comfortingly against their vase. They are safer now, no one will compare them to the sea. /
Here on the railroad train, one more time, is the Strangler. / He is going to get that one there, who is on his way to a poetry reading. / Agh! Biff! A body falls to the moving floor.

— Kenneth Koch

Don't imagine that the art of poetry is any simpler than the art of music, or that you can please the expert before you have spent at least as much effort on the art of verse as the average piano teacher spends on the art of music.
Be influenced by as many great artists as you can, but have the decency either to acknowledge the debt outright, or try to conceal it.
Don't allow "influence" to mean merely that you mop up the particular decorative vocabulary of some one or two poets who you happen to admire.

— Ezra Pound

I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled poets to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean.

— Socrates

I think that is where poetry reading becomes such an individual thing. I mean I have friend who like poets who just don't say anything to me at all, I mean they seem to me rather ordinary and pedestrian.

— James Laughlin

The reason so much bad poetry is written is that it is written as poetry instead of concept. And the reason the public doesn't understand poetry is that there is nothing to understand, and the reason most poets write it is that they think they understand. Nothing is to be understood or "regained." It is simply to be written. By someone. Sometime. And not too often.

— Charles Bukowski

For poets, at least, experiencing something inexpressible does not mean silence. It's precisely the inexpressible something that poetry is meant to help us see or feel. If it were merely expressible - if there were nothing ineffable about it - there would be no need for a poem. But everywhere in the Bible we meet reality that exceeds our expectations.

— John Piper

I don't like the word 'poetry,' and I don't like poetry readings, and I usually don't like poets. I would much prefer describing myself and what I do as: I'm kind of a curator, and I'm kind of a night-owl reporter.

— Tom Waits

I do believe that one's writing life needs to be kept separate from Po-Biz. Personally, I deal with this by not attending too many poetry readings, primarily reading dead poets or poems in translation, reading Poets & Writers only once for grant/contest information before I quickly dispose of it, and not reading Poetry Daily. Ever.

— Cate Marvin

Poets, on the face of it, have either got to be easier or to write their own notes; readers have either got to take more trouble over reading or cease to regard notes as pretentious and a sign of bad poetry

— William Empson

We may have an excellent ear for music, without being able to perform in any kind; we may judge well of poetry, without being poets, or possessing the least of a poetic vein; but we can have no tolerable notion of goodness without being tolerably good.

— Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 7th Earl Of Shaftesbury

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