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I would not say I chose to write long poems on a conscious level.
by 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

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

 

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

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I feel very connected to poets across the country.
- 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reading should be a repeat performance.
- 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The true meaning of life is to plant trees,
under whose shade you do not expect to sit.
- Nelson Henderson

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

Love one another but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea
between the shores of your souls.
- Khalil Gibran

"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly,
"one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."
- Hans Christian Andersen

The mind is not a vessel to be filled
but a fire to be kindled.
- Plutarch

To know yet to think that one does not know is best;
Not to know yet to think that one knows
will lead to difficulty.
- Lao Tzu

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.
- Marianne Williamson

A good traveler has no fixed plans,
and is not intent on arriving.
- Lao Tzu

Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom.
- Rabindranath Tagore

Every child comes with the message
that God is not yet discouraged of man.
- Rabindranath Tagore

You will not be punished for your anger,
you will be punished by your anger.
- The Buddha

I am not afraid of storms
for I am learning how to sail my ship.
- Louisa May Alcott

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.
- Rabindranath Tagore

Lord, grant that I might not so much
seek to be loved as to love.
- St. Francis of Assisi

Everything has beauty,
but not everyone sees it.
- Confucius

The beauty does not live out there;
the beauty's in my eyes.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
- Lao Tzu

The essence of life is not in
the great victories and grand failures,
but in the simple joys.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Everything is a miracle,
not just the beautiful and lovely things.
- Anonymous

I do not need anyone's permission to be my true self.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Treat those who are good with goodness,
and also treat those who are not good with goodness.
Thus goodness is attained.
Be honest to those who are honest,
and be also honest to those who are not honest.
Thus honesty is attained.
- Lao Tzu

Self-respect is not a function of size, age, or wealth.
Breathe deep, sing loud and sweet,
"I am me, I am unique, I am magnificent."
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Not everything that casts a long shadow is to be feared.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Imagine all the people living life in peace.
You may say I'm a dreamer,
but I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us,
and the world will be as one.
- John Lennon

The question is not what you look at, but what you see.
- Henry David Thoreau

Our lives are defined not by the challenges we encounter,
but by how we respond to those challenges.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Treat the earth well.
It was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
we borrow it from our Children.
- Native American traditional

We are not held back by the love we didn't receive in the past,
but by the love we're not extending in the present.
- Marianne Williamson

The opposite of courage in our society
is not cowardice, it is conformity.
- Rollo May

If things are not as you wish,
wish them as they are.
- Yiddish Proverb

The possession of knowledge does not
kill the sense of wonder and mystery.
There is always more mystery.
- Anais Nin

Truth is not defined by
how many people believe something.
Ask. Question. Think.
Decide - for yourself.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Stand Tall, Stand Proud.
Know that you are unique and magnificent.
You do not need the approval of others.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

A ship in harbor is safe -
but that is not what ships are for.
- John A. Shedd

It's not the size of the dog in the fight,
it's the size of the fight in the dog.
- Mark Twain

It is not the easy or convenient life
for which I search,
but life lived to the edge
of all that I may be.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Riches do not exhilarate us so much with their possession
as they torment us with their loss.
- Epicurus

A bird does not sing because it has an answer.
It sings because it has a song.
- Chinese Proverb

Do first things first, and second things not at all.
- Peter F. Drucker


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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