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

Who is the ideal reader? God only knows.
- 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 find it exhausting to administer a magazine without an office or paid staff.
- 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

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 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

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reading should be a repeat performance.
- John Barton

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

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

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

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

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

Man falls from the pursuit of the ideal
of plain living and high thinking
the moment he wants to multiply his daily wants.
Man's happiness really lies in contentment.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

All successful people men and women are big dreamers.
They imagine what their future could be,
ideal in every respect,
and then they work every day toward
their distant vision,
that goal or purpose.
- Brian Tracy

Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience:
this is the ideal life.
- Mark Twain

Interdependence is and ought to be
as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency.
Man is a social being.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

The road to perdition has ever been
accompanied by lip service to an ideal.
- Albert Einstein

Art is not a study of positive reality,
it is the seeking for ideal truth.
- John Ruskin

We peruse one ideal, that of bringing people together in peace,
irrespective of race, religion and political convictions,
for the benefit of mankind.
- Juan Antonio Samaranch

That's my ideal day, time with my boys.
- Kenny G

I have this theory - that if we're told we're bad,
then that's the only ideal we'll ever have.
- Jewel

Dachshunds are ideal dogs for small children,
as they are already stretched and pulled to such a
length that the child cannot do much harm one way or the other.
- Robert Benchley

An ideal wife is one who remains faithful to you but
tries to be just as charming as if she weren't.
- Sacha Guitry

Art ought never to be considered except in its relations with its ideal beauty.
- Alfred de Vigny

An ideal form of government is democracy tempered with assassination.
- Voltaire

That a marriage ends is less than ideal;
but all things end under heaven,
and if temporality is held to be invalidating,
then nothing real succeeds.
- John Updike

An Enlightened Master is ideal only if your goal is
to become a Benighted Slave.
- Robert Anton Wilson

My idea of the ideal sex education site doesn't exist.
- Susie Bright

The man who never makes a mistake always takes orders from one who does.
No man or woman who tries to pursue an ideal in his
or her own way is without enemies.
- Daisy Bates

Since we have had a history, men have pursued an ideal of immortality.
- George Wald

The ideal beauty is a fugitive which is never found.
- Joan Rivers

I have long been convinced that my artistic ideal stands or falls with Germany.
Only the Germany that we love and desire can help us achieve that ideal.
- Richard Wagner

If I just produce the transparent ideal accepted by the Western experts,
a process of privatization which will be very good but never happen,
that means nothing.
- Anatoly Chubais

Our ideal of the future is that she should continue
to render that service of her own free will.
- Henry Cabot Lodge

The necessity to constantly turn in an excellent performance,
to be absolutely wedded to this dedication and this
ideal means that as a child you're going to pay for it personally.
- Twyla Tharp

When we think of the ideal, we do not add virtue to virtue,
but think of Jesus Christ, so that the standard of
human life is no longer a code,
but a character.
- E. Stanley Jones

It was an ideal day for football - too cold for the
spectators and too cold for the players.
- Red Smith

You cannot contribute anything to the ideal condition
of mind and heart known as Brotherhood,
however much you preach, posture, or agree,
unless you live it.
- Faith Baldwin

What are you accepting that would not be a part of your ideal day?
- Alan Cohen

Freedom is not an ideal, it is not even a protection,
if it means nothing more than the freedom to stagnate.
- Adlai E. Stevenson

No man or woman who tries to pursue an ideal in his
or her won way is without enemies.
- Daisy Bates

The Australian tour was good for us;
it was ideal preparation for us.
- Sachin Tendulkar

The aim of medicine is to prevent disease and prolong life,
the ideal of medicine is to eliminate the need of a physician.
- William J. Mayo

The ideal attitude is to be physically loose and mentally tight.
- Arthur Ashe

Even imperfection itself may have its ideal or perfect state.
- Thomas de Quincey

It sounds ideal, a sort of beach childhood.
But it wasn't really.
I didn't use the beach very much at all.
- Miranda Richardson

There is nothing the matter with Americans except their ideals.
The real American is all right; it is the ideal American who is all wrong.
- Gilbert K. Chesterton

The ideal mother, like the ideal marriage,
is a fiction.
- Milton R. Sapirstein

Stadium rock and commercial rock are the opposite of what poetry needs.
An audience of around 200 is ideal for poetry.
- Adrian Mitchell

It would be ideal if we could have an uncontrolled flow of information.
But we realized you can't do that.
- John Poindexter

The trend in some of the contemporary movements in art,
but by no means all, seems to deny this ideal and to
me appears to lead to a purely decorative conception of painting.
- Edward Hopper


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