Monday, March 9, 2015

Monday Muse: Poets on Poetry

Below you'll find some quotes I've collected during my recent reading and listening. Concerning poets and poetry, the quotes are worth sharing and considering.

✭ ". . . There has to be room for poetry marked by extravagance. And if this is true, why should poetry always wear a commonplace costume?" ~ Mary Szybist

The quote is from "On Craft: Mary Szybist on Visual Poetry", Graywolf Press Blog, February 24, 2015. Szybist is the author, most recently, of the collection Incarnadine, a 2013 finalist for a National Book Award.

✭ "Poetry is a life-cherishing force. And it requires a vision—a faith, to use an old-fashioned term. Yes, indeed. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry. . . ." ~ Mary Oliver, Quoted by Krista Tippett During OnBeing Interview 

The quote is from Oliver's A Poetry Handbook: A Prose Guide to Understanding and Writing Poetry. The interview, "Listening to the World", was posted February 5.

✭ ". . . [P]oetry is about focus. It's about trying to be attentive to the world so we won't have to live in complete regret that it was lost on us while we had it. . . ." ~ Linda Gregerson

The quote is from Gregerson's interview with Carolyn Darr,  "Professor and Poet Linda Gregerson Bestows Wisdom Upon Young Writers", The Michigan Daily, February 11, 2015

✭ ". . . The activity of poetry is to  tell us we must change our lives. It does this by posing again and again a question that cannot be answered except with our whole being—body, speech, and mind. What is the nature of this moment? poetry asks, and we have no rest until the question is answered. Then it is asked again. . . ." ~ Jane Hirshfield 

The quote is from "The Question of Originality" in Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, Essays (HarperCollins, 1997) by Jane Hirshfield

Hirshfield's Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World (Knopf) and The Beauty: Poems (Knopf) publishes this month.

✭ ". . . the great poets experience some of our loneliness for us. . . ." ~ Andrew O'Hagan

The quote is from O'Hagan's Essay "Andrew O'Hagan: 'I am in love with poetry'" at The Guardian, February 6, 2015. A Scottish novelist and nonfiction writer, O'Hagan's The Illuminations (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) appears this month.

✭ ". . . Every poem is, somewhere, both a form and an act of love."  ~ Carl Phillips

The quote is from "Restlessness: Poetry, Love, and Mercy" in The Art of Daring: Risk, Restlessness, Imagination (August 2014) by Carl Phillips. The book is part of the wonderful The Art of Series edited by Charles Baxter and published by Graywolf Press.

✭ "Poetry is an enormous counter-force against the oppressing weight of the material world. It is a spice in everyday life, a sting against habit, it changes life. . . Poetry, after all, belongs to the side of the heart in opposition to the stomach." ~ Galsan Tschinag

The quote is found in Tschinag's "Defence of Poetry" in A Poet's Sourcebook: Writings About Poetry from the Ancient World to the Present (Autumn House Press, 2013), edited by Dawn Potter

✭ ". . . The poem. . . brings its own music with it. It tells you, it instructs you, really, ideally, on how it wants to be in the world, and what it wants to sound like, what its rhythm might be . . . ." ~ Paul Muldoon

The quote comes from Paul Muldoon's interview posted February 6 as part of The Guardian's books podcast series. Muldoon talks about his most recent book One Thousand Things Worth Knowing (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, January 2015), the difference between lyric-writing and poetry-writing, and technology's intrusions in our lives.

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