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Reading should be a repeat performance. ...
by John Barton

Reading should be a repeat performance.
- 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 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

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

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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

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

Who is the ideal reader? God only knows.
- 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture.
Just get people to stop reading them.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

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)

If I read a book that impresses me,
I have to take myself firmly in hand
before I mix with other people;
otherwise they would think my mind rather queer.
- Anne Frank

O Day of days when we can read!
The reader and the book, either without the other is naught.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

A truly good book teaches me better than to read it.
I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint.
What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.
- Henry David Thoreau

Reading computer manuals without the hardware is as
frustrating as reading manuals without the software.
- Arthur C. Clarke

Reading builds the educated and informed electorate
so vital to our democracy.
- Brad Henry

Education...
has produced a vast population able to read but unable
to distinguish what is worth reading.
- G. M. Trevelyan

Be careful about reading health books.
You may die of a misprint.
- Mark Twain

I was reading the dictionary.
I thought it was a poem about everything.
- Steven Wright

Reading about nature is fine, but if a person
walks in the woods and listens carefully,
he can learn more than what is in books,
for they speak with the voice of God.
- George Washington Carver

The joke in our family is that we can cry reading the phone book.
- Ron Reagan

Reading, after a certain age,
diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits.
Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little
falls into lazy habits of thinking.
- Albert Einstein

I would like to spare the time and effort of hack reviewers and,
generally, persons who move their lips when reading.
- Vladimir Nabokov

I had plenty of pimples as a kid.
One day I fell asleep in the library.
When I woke up, a blind man was reading my face.
- Rodney Dangerfield

Reading is to the mind what exercising is to the body.
- Richard Steele

In our fathers' time nothing was read but books of feigned chivalry,
wherein a man by reading should be led to none other end,
but only to manslaughter and bawdry.
- Roger Ascham

I've found that when the market's going down and you buy funds wisely,
at some point in the future you will be happy.
You won't get there by reading 'Now is the time to buy.'
- Peter Lynch

Many good sayings are to be found in holy books,
but merely reading them will not make one religious.
- Ramakrishna

I wish in my own mind I were more definite -
that I was absolutely convinced I'd never direct someone else's script,
but I keep reading scripts, because I might find something.
- Paul Mazursky

Life being very short, and the quiet hours of it few,
we ought to waste none of them in reading valueless books.
- John Ruskin

Shakespeare fascinated me.
He hardly ever left the country.
His imagination was worldwide though reading.
- Michael Tippett

I was lucky enough not to face any required summer
reading lists until I went to college.
So I still think of summer as the best time to read for fun.
- Margaret Haddix

I like the storytelling and reading the letters,
the long-distance dedications.
Anytime in radio that you can reach somebody on an emotional level,
you're really connecting.
- Casey Kasum

There are worse crimes than burning books.
One of them is not reading them.
- Ray Bradbury

As an actor, you're pretty much a hired gun.
You are reading other people's words off of a page
and doing what they want you to do.
- Corey Feldman

The head of Fermilab was reading Astonishing Stories when he was ten.
- Frederik Pohl

The reader has to be creative when he's reading.
He has to try to make the thing alive.
A good reader has to do a certain amount of work when he is reading.
- Nathalie Sarraute

The hearing aids are very helpful for speech reading.
Without the hearing aids, my voice becomes very loud,
and I cannot control the quality of my voice.
- Marlee Matlin

From the moment I picked your book up until I laid it down,
I was convulsed with laughter.
Someday I intend reading it.
- Groucho Marx

I hope to be with you as a writer for a very long time,
and I hope that you will enjoy reading my work,
because readers are the highest form of life on this planet.
- Guy Johnson

Whitney and I have fun reading the newspaper sometimes.
You'd be amazed at the places they say I've been.
- Bobby Brown

The Spice Girl Victoria Beckham has just published the story of her life.
I confess that it is not in my reading table.
- Mick Jagger

Seek the lofty by reading, hearing and seeing great
work at some moment every day.
- Thornton Wilder

The first reading of a Will, where a person dies worth anything considerable,
generally affords a true test of the relations' love to the deceased.
- Samuel Richardson

Finding people who get enormous pleasure from reading
books is a more and more unusual experience,
and so writers just so much want to be heard.
- Susie Bright

We gather for prayer, and reading the Bible,
and singing the songs of David.
- William Brewster

The fat lady hasn't sung yet.
We'll wait until we get a look at what is in the motion passed on third reading.
- Bobby Orr

We never stop reading, although every book comes to an end,
just as we never stop living, although death is certain.
- Roberto Bolano


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