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But poetry is my life.
by Peter Davison

But poetry is my life.
Poetry is what matters to me.
- Peter Davison

I like poems that are little games.
- Peter Davison

And there are a lot more people reading poetry,
but there are not so many people reading an individual poet.
- Peter Davison

I would like to be proud of having written some poems that will be remembered,
but I will never know whether I will have any reason to be proud of that.
- Peter Davison

 

Poetry is composing for the breath.
- Peter Davison

It is a way we reassess our past.
We can do that in poetry in ways we can't do in prose.
- Peter Davison

I like poems that are complex.
- Peter Davison

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I think poetry has lost an awful lot of its muscle
because nobody knows any.
Nobody has to memorize poetry.
- Peter Davison

Every so often I find some poems that are too good
for the readers of The Atlantic because they are a
little too involved with the nature of poetry,
as such.
- Peter Davison

It is very difficult for people to come in contact
with their own emotions and their own sensibilities.
- Peter Davison

The problem, for me, with the writing programs is that
they produce a terrible uniformity of product.
- Peter Davison

Poetry should be able to reach everybody,
and it should be able to appeal to all levels of understanding.
- Peter Davison

There are so many things that poetry is about,
one of which is memory.
- Peter Davison

The more poetry you have in the head,
the more poetry you will understand because you will
be getting to the roots of what it is that makes people write poetry at all.
- Peter Davison

In my youth, I found that I was quite often inspired
and pushed forward by what I read.
- Peter Davison

But there is some way in which poets believe that and this is dangerous,
too believe that their calling gives them a certain freedom.
A certain freedom to live in a free way.
- Peter Davison

But for me, being an editor I've been an editor of
all kinds of books being an editor of poetry has been
the way in which I could give a crucial part of my
time to what I love most.
- Peter Davison

The reason one writes poems is so that your poem will be remembered.
- Peter Davison

Poetry was invented as an mnemonic device to enable
people to remember their prayers.
- Peter Davison

If poets were realistic, they wouldn't be poets.
- Peter Davison

For instance, it's a little better now than it was two or three years ago,
but something like 70% of the poems I receive seem
to be written in the present indicative.
- Peter Davison

I just think that some version of the past in our culture
is going to rise up and become dominant.
- Peter Davison

If I were brave enough to say so, I'd like to think
that I had written some poems that people are not going to forget.
- Peter Davison

The trouble with the performance poets is that they
don't seem to have read anything.
So there is not a real sense of the poetic tradition in their work.
- Peter Davison

Frost is the most sophisticated of poets.
- Peter Davison

Dealing with poetry is a daunting task,
simply because the reason one does it as an editor
at all is because one is constantly coming to terms
with one's own understanding of how to understand the world.
- Peter Davison

In order to understand what they need to understand,
in order to write what they write, they have to be free.
And yet, they aren't ever free.
They are not free because they are not free of the
constrictions their art puts on them.
- Peter Davison

People are talking about the Internet as though it
is going to change the world.
It's not going to change the world.
It's not going to change the way we think,
and it's not going to change the way we feel.
- Peter Davison

They need to learn poetry.
They don't need to learn about poetry.
They don't need to be told how to interpret poetry.
They don't need to be told how to understand poetry.
They need to learn it.
- Peter Davison

My friends never talk to me about my poetry because
they're embarrassed that I write it or they're embarrassed
by what I write about which are not such extraordinarily terrifying things,
but they are the state of human existence.
- Peter Davison

The relation between a poet and audience is really insignificant.
What matters is the poet is hearing something that he is broadcasting.
And whether there is anybody with a receiver isn't the reason he does it.
He hopes there is somebody receiving it.
- Peter Davison

If a man is called to be a street sweeper,
he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted,
or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.
He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts
of heaven and earth will pause to say,
here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Youth, large, lusty, loving -
Youth, full of grace, force, fascination.
Do you know that Old Age may come after you
with equal grace, force, fascination?
- Walt Whitman

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.
- Carl Sandburg

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.
- Plutarch

The River of Life has no judgments.
The River flows with no concept of good and bad - right and wrong.
The fields and dreams of men may be nourished by the River of Life,
or flooded and covered with silt, and the River just flows.
Men may catch fish and live on the River of Life,
or they may founder in a storm and drown, and the River just flows.
The River of Life is timeless.
It is not unchanging, but it is timeless,
and it changes in its own time.
The River of Life knows no obstacles.
The River can cut through solid rock - in its own time.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Poetry is all that is worth remembering in life.
- William Hazlitt

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

Poetry: the best words in the best order.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.
- Plato

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and
the thought has found words.
- Robert Frost

One merit of poetry few persons will deny:
it says more and in fewer words than prose.
- Voltaire

You will find poetry nowhere unless you bring some of it with you.
- Joseph Joubert

Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.
- Carl Sandburg

Any healthy man can go without food for two days -
but not without poetry.
- Charles Baudelaire

The River of Life has no meaning, no good, no bad,
no better, no worse, no love, no hate, no fear, no anger, no joy.
The River of Life has no judgment, no expectation.
The River of Life just IS. There is nothing to do.
There is nothing to say.
There is nothing to think.
There is nothing to feel.
The River just flows. The River is the source of all nourishment -
the source of all obstacles.
The River is the source of all life - the source of all death.
The River is the source of all joy - and the source of all sorrow.
Yet the River has no joy - and the River has no sorrow.
The River is just the River.
One can flow harmoniously with the River -
or one can struggle fearfully against the River -
and the River just flows.
One can accept the River - or one can deny the River -
and the River just flows.
One can worship the River of Life - or one can curse the River of Life -
and the River just flows. There is nothing to do - and the River flows.
There is nothing to say - and the River flows.
There is nothing to think - and the River flows.
There is nothing to feel - and the River flows.
The River flows - and all else is our drama.
The River flows - and all else is our invention.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.
- Edgar Allan Poe

Poetry is plucking at the heartstrings,
and making music with them.
- Dennis Gabor

There is poetry as soon as we realize that we possess nothing.
- John Cage

Poetry is language at its most distilled and most powerful.
- Rita Dove

All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling.
- Oscar Wilde

Breathe-in experience, breathe-out poetry.
- Muriel Rukeyser

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

Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power.
Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions,
all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words.
- Paul Engle

Poetry should...
should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts,
and appear almost a remembrance.
- John Keats

Poetry is the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads.
- Marianne Moore

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

Even when poetry has a meaning, as it usually has,
it may be inadvisable to draw it out...
Perfect understanding will sometimes almost extinguish pleasure.
- A. E. Housman

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood.
- T. S. Eliot

Poetry is just the evidence of life.
If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.
- Leonard Cohen

There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money,
either.
- Robert Graves

Poetry is the opening and closing of a door,
leaving those who look through to guess about what
is seen during the moment.
- Carl Sandburg

The River of Life flows without emotion.
The River surges. The River quiets.
The River overflows its banks. The River dries to a trickle.
The River swirls and storms. The River becomes calm.
The River runs clear. The River runs dark with silt.
The River is indifferent to what benefit
or what harm is caused by its water.
The River is the River, and that is all there is to it.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.
- Novalis

Everything one invents is true, you may be perfectly sure of that.
Poetry is as precise as geometry.
- Gustave Flaubert

To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion all in one.
- John Ruskin

Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder,
with a dash of the dictionary.
- Khalil Gibran

Poetry is an orphan of silence.
The words never quite equal the experience behind them.
- Charles Simic

Poetry is what gets lost in translation.
- Robert Frost

Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn.
- Thomas Gray


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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