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I have been told by a member of the board of one of
by John Barton

I have been told by a member of the board of one of
Canada's most prominent literary magazines that a submission
of mine once caused a great deal of controversy.
- John Barton

Sometimes poetry is inspired by the conversation entered
into by reading other poems.
- John Barton

No poem is easily grasped; so why should any reader expect fast results?
- John Barton

I consider a poem to be a kind of experiment where
a number of elements are brought together under test
conditions to see how they will interact to create meaning or relevance.
- John Barton

 

The poet must decide not to impose his feelings in
order to write without sentimentality.
- John Barton

Who is the ideal reader? God only knows.
- John Barton

I find it exhausting to administer a magazine without an office or paid staff.
- John Barton

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I sometimes like to tinker with poems that have failed,
ones that I have sent aside.
Even years afterward, I will revisit them if there
is something about them that I cannot give up on.
- John Barton

You can never step into the same book twice,
because you are different each time you read it.
- John Barton

I feel very connected to poets across the country.
- John Barton

An experienced reader uses the poem as an agent of inquiry.
This makes poetry very exciting, unstable,
and interactive.
- John Barton

I have always been very obsessed with time.
Time's passage makes us all very vulnerable and because
we all experience it in our own way,
it can make us feel very alone.
- John Barton

To me many short poems read and write like beginnings
that simply whet my appetite;
I want to get over that.
- John Barton

The point of an experiment is not to arrive at a predetermined end point,
to prove or disprove anything, but to deliver a poem
that reveals much about the process taken.
- John Barton

In the past, poetry came in the form of spells and
chants used to effect change.
- John Barton

Some readers allow their prejudices to blind them.
A good reader knows how to disregard inappropriate responses.
- John Barton

Poets can't resist the dramatic pull of their lives
and so inevitably write autobiographical verse.
- John Barton

I would not say I chose to write long poems on a conscious level.
The long poem has been a relative constant.
- John Barton

A literary journal is intended to connect writer with reader;
the role of the editor is to mediate.
- John Barton

If poetry alters the way in which the reader views the world,
then it has had its desired effect.
- John Barton

Reading should be a repeat performance.
- John Barton

I have become intrigued with the combining of seemingly
unrelated ideas or images,
or the drawing upon the many, sometimes dissimilar,
meanings a word might have.
- John Barton

I became intrigued with colour theory.
The absurd pronouncements of the Colour Institute,
a group that decides what colours are hot each year or season,
amused me.
- John Barton

Writing can sometimes be exploitative.
I like to take a few steps of remove in order to respect
the privacy of the subject.
If readers make the link, they have engaged with the poem.
- John Barton

Poetry is but another form of inquiry into the nature of phenomena,
using with its own unique procedures and tools.
- John Barton

The community of poets I belong to is not as close as it used to be,
if only for the fact that our lives have become busier:
jobs,
children, and the like.
- John Barton

Most victims of my autobiographical verse are either far too polite,
remarkably understanding unaware that I have written poems about them.
- John Barton

The reader's challenge is to replicate the experiment
by reading the poem and to draw their own conclusions.
- John Barton

My obsession with time informs my poetry so completely
it is hard for me to summarize it.
We want time to pass, for new things to happen to us,
we want to hold on to certain moments,
we don't want our lives to end.
- John Barton

We are comfortable with the fact that we cannot know
personally what happened in the world before we were born,
yet we are uncomfortable with the notion that we will
stop engaging with time at some point in the future.
- John Barton

Poets have to be sensitive to their audience,
but it does not mean that they censor themselves.
I realise my audience is diverse.
Some will read with empathy and curiosity while others will take offense.
- John Barton

The experiment of the poem is mostly intuitive.
I write the first draft, pulling in the various elements that interest me,
in the hope that their being combined will lead to some kind of insight.
- John Barton

The world is perfect. It's a mess.
It has always been a mess.
We are not going to change it.
Our job is to straighten out our own lives.
- Joseph Campbell

Footprints in the sands of time...
Where have you been?
Where are you going?
Why are you going there?
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Sing like no one's listening,
love like you've never been hurt,
dance like nobody's watching,
and live like its heaven on earth.
- Mark Twain

For all sad words of tongue and pen,
The saddest are these, "It might have been.
- John Greenleaf Whittier

The highest thinkers of the ages,
the seers of the tribes and the nations,
have been optimists.
- Helen Keller

Education is what survives when
what has been learned has been forgotten.
- B. F. Skinner

My life has been filled with terrible misfortune;
most of which never happened.
- Michel Eyquem De Montaigne

Anger is a killing thing:
it kills the man who angers,
for each rage leaves him less than he had been before -
it takes something from him.
- Louis L'Amour

Work like you don't need the money.
Love like you've never been hurt.
Dance like nobody's watching.
- Satchel Paige

To have done anything just for money
is to have been truly idle.
- Henry David Thoreau

All life is change.
Release your attachment to the way things have been,
and wend your way joyfully
through life's unfolding majesty.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth
until the hour of separation.
- Khalil Gibran

It is never too late to become what you might have been.
- George Eliot

I have always been regretting that
I was not as wise as the day I was born.
- Henry David Thoreau

An "always been" does not mean I must choose "what must be."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

What work I have done I have done because it has been play.
If it had been work I shouldn't have done it.
- Mark Twain

Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared
believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance.
- Bruce Barton

Calm provides clarity. Pause to consider
the gifts you have been given,
the difference you have made
and the direction in which you are headed.
- Anonymous

My experience has been that work is
almost the best way to pull oneself out of the depths.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Re-examine all that you have been told...
dismiss that which insults your soul.
- Walt Whitman

Most of the important things in the world
have been accomplished by people
who have kept on trying
when there seemed to be no hope at all.
- Dale Carnegie

What is a weed? A plant whose virtues
have never been discovered.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love like you've never been hurt,
dance like no one is watching,
live as though heaven is on earth.
- Satchel Paige

How far you go in life depends on you being
tender with the young,
compassionate with the aged,
sympathetic with the striving
and tolerant of the weak and the strong.
Because someday in life you will have been all of these.
- George Washington Carver

Life is too short, time is too precious,
and the stakes are too high
to dwell on what might have been.
- Hilary Clinton

Like a Butterfly, I have been Reborn
with Bold Colors and Strong Wings.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I accept that no one else has ever been to blame
for either my joy or my suffering.
The entire cause of all my joys and all my sufferings
is my own emotional response to the events of my life.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

No written law has ever been more binding
than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion.
- Carrie Chapman Catt

The world has always been in an uproar,
and it always will be.
Choose Peace. Choose to live with Peace.
Choose to interact peacefully with everyone -
especially those whose instinct is not to be peaceful.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

What is admirable about those
who have been of great service to humanity
is not that they suffered in being of service,
but that they found their source of happiness
(joy if you prefer) in that service.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

When we quarrel, how we wish we had been blameless.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Your innermost core has always been pure.
Purity is intrinsic to you,
it cannot be taken away.
- Osho

I accept everything that ever has been,
with no regrets, no resentments, and no call for vengeance.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

No person was ever honored for what he received.
Honor has been the reward for what he gave.
- Calvin Coolidge

You have not been abandoned.
You are never alone, except by your own choice.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Competition has been shown to be useful
up to a certain point and no further,
but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today,
begins where competition leaves off.
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

The wish for healing has always been half of health.
- Lucius Annaeus Seneca

For as long as I can remember, I've been searching for something,
some reason why we're here. What are we doing here? Who are we?
If this is a chance to find out
even just a little part of that answer...
I don't know, I think it's worth a human life. Don't you?
- the Jodie Foster movie Contact (1997)

I have compassion for everyone who has ever
been a player upon the stage of my life.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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