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The poet must decide not to impose his feelings in
by John Barton

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

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

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

 

If poetry alters the way in which the reader views the world,
then it has had its desired effect.
- 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 feel very connected to poets across the country.
- 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

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

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

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

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

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

Reading should be a repeat performance.
- John Barton

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

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

Who is the ideal reader? God only knows.
- 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

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

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

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

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

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

I am the poet of my mind.
I am the painter of my heart.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I am the poet of my mind.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
- Rumi (Persian poet 1207-1273)

Death most resembles a prophet who is without honor
in his own land or a poet who is a stranger among his people.
- Khalil Gibran

As the poet said, 'Only God can make a tree,'
probably because it's so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.
- Woody Allen

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth.
- Jean Cocteau

Always be a poet, even in prose.
- Charles Baudelaire

A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman.
- Wallace Stevens

God is the perfect poet.
- Robert Browning

A true poet does not bother to be poetical.
Nor does a nursery gardener scent his roses.
- Jean Cocteau

A sculptor is a person who is interested in the shape of things,
a poet in words, a musician by sounds.
- Henry Moore

At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.
- Plato

The poet doesn't invent.
He listens.
- Jean Cocteau

Whatever poet, orator or sage may say of it,
old age is still old age.
- Sinclair Lewis

Married or unmarried, young or old, poet or worker,
you are still a dreamer, and will one time know,
and feel, that your life is but a dream.
- Donald G. Mitchell

A poet's autobiography is his poetry.
Anything else is just a footnote.
- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

You don't have to suffer to be a poet;
adolescence is enough suffering for anyone.
- John Ciardi

There'll always be working people in my poems because I grew up with them,
and I am a poet of memory.
- Philip Levine

Each memorable verse of a true poet has two or three
times the written content.
- Alfred de Musset

The poet is one who is able to keep
the fresh vision of the child alive.
- Anais Nin

Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet
believes to be interior and personal which the reader recognizes as his own.
- Salvatore Quasimodo

A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.
- W. H. Auden

A poet can survive everything but a misprint.
- Oscar Wilde

The poet may be used as a barometer,
but let us not forget that he is also part of the weather.
- Lionel Trilling

To be a poet is a condition, not a profession.
- Robert Frost

Children and lunatics cut the Gordian knot which the
poet spends his life patiently trying to untie.
- Jean Cocteau

If you cannot be a poet, be the poem.
- David Carradine

He who draws noble delights from sentiments of poetry is a true poet,
though he has never written a line in all his life.
- George Sand

"Therefore" is a word the poet must not know.
- Andre Gide

A film is never really good unless the camera is an
eye in the head of a poet.
- Orson Welles

A poet's work is to name the unnameable,
to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments,
shape the world, and stop it going to sleep.
- Salman Rushdie

I have written a raucous valentine to a poet's dream and agony.
- Ben Hecht

The writer of prose can only step aside when the poet passes.
- W. Somerset Maugham

I think the best American poetry is the poetry that
utilizes the resources of poetry rather than exploits
the defects or triumphs of the poet's personality.
- Mark Strand

I'm much more of a musician than a poet.
I just feel much more confident about my musical abilities.
- Mary Timony

Could a man live by it, it were not unpleasant employment to be a poet.
- Oliver Goldsmith

To a poet, silence is an acceptable response,
even a flattering one.
- Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

The generous Critic fann'd the Poet's fire,
And taught the world with reason to admire.
- Edgar Allan Poe

The poet enjoys the incomparable privilege of being
able to be himself and others,
as he wishes.
- Charles Baudelaire


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