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Monday, September 04, 2006


'The poet is like a mouse in an enormous cheese excited by how much cheese there is to eat.' (Czeslaw Milosz)

'It is perfectly right to demand accessibility when you are designing a public lavatory... But what is a proper term in civics and architecture is not necessarily a proper term in literature or painting or music.' (Geoffrey Hill)

'the grades assigned /to meats will do nicely [for poetry]: /Prime /choice /good /commercial /utility /canners' (Ed Dorn)

'Violent movements which contain poets are more dangerous than ones which don't.' (Conor Cruise O'Brien)

'Poems, like experiences, can be good or bad but they cannot be right or wrong.' (John Redmond)

'Form is a straitjacket in the way that a straitjacket was a straitjacket for Houdini.' (Paul Muldoon)

(from Dennis O'Driscoll's Bloodaxe Book of Poetry Quotations, just out)

1 comment:

Mark Granier said...

I like Muldoon's, a clever riff on Clarke's "I load myself down with chains and try to wriggle free."

One for my own 'commonplace book' is Armitage's:

"As far as I can tell, there are two kinds of poets: those who want to tell stories and sing songs, and those who want to work out the chemical equation for language and pass on their experiments as poetry"