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Some readers allow their prejudices to blind them.
by John Barton

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

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

 

Reading should be a repeat performance.
- 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 poet must decide not to impose his feelings in
order to write without sentimentality.
- John Barton

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

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

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

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

Who is the ideal reader? God only knows.
- 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

Most victims of my autobiographical verse are either far too polite,
remarkably understanding unaware that I have written poems about them.
- 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 reader's challenge is to replicate the experiment
by reading the poem and to draw their own conclusions.
- 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

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

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

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

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

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

Through humor, you can soften some
of the worst blows that life delivers.
And once you find laughter,
no matter how painful your situation might be,
you can survive it.
- Bill Cosby

Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked,
in which you can walk with love and reverence.
- Henry David Thoreau

Some days are simply meant for playing.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

For some of us, the world appears to provide
only a fixed quantity of each resource -
a limited amount of food, of money,
of love, of success, of appreciation.
For others, life is unlimited.
Their world expands with the generosity, compassion,
inventiveness, and service that they contribute.
In this world-view, money that is spent
or given away returns multiplied.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Do you feel stuck?
Whether in a project, a job, a relationship,
or some other situation,
there is a time for perseverance,
and a time for letting go and moving on.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I never accepted the idea
that I had to be guided by
some pattern or blueprint.
- Little Richard

Some people care too much. I think it's called love.
- A. A. Milne (Winnie-The-Pooh)

It is nearly a certainty that some
of your expectations will not be met today -
choose Joy anyway.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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.
We ask ourselves,
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.
- Marianne Williamson

You need to make a commitment,
and once you make it,
then life will give you some answers.
- Les Brown

No love, no friendship can cross the path of our destiny
without leaving some mark on it forever.
- Francois Muriac

Some things will never seem adequate
no matter how hard we try.
- from the movie White Man's Burden

Age does not protect you from love.
But love, to some extent, protects you from age.
- Anais Nin

All this worldly wisdom was once
the unamiable heresy of some wise man.
- Henry David Thoreau

Spend some time alone every day.
- Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

Every time you hear a bell ring,
it means that some angel's just got his wings.
- It's a Wonderful Life (1946 movie)

Put some distance between yourself
and whatever is concerning you.
Distance in space or time
always creates a new perspective.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

There is a good ear, in some men,
that draws supplies to virtue
out of very indifferent nutriment.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have always held firmly to the thought
that each one of us can do a little
to bring some portion of misery to an end.
- Albert Schweitzer

Some people dream of success
while others wake up and work hard at it.
- Anonymous

Every man I meet is in some way my superior.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

He who is not everyday conquering some fear
has not learned the secret of life.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our grandchildren's grandchildren will shake their heads in shame
at some of the beliefs that we hold most dear today -
the question is, which ones?
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

We travel, some of us forever, to seek
other states, other lives, other souls.
- Anais Nin

That some achieve great success,
is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.
- Abraham Lincoln

Why, I'd like nothing better than to achieve
some bold adventure, worthy of our trip.
- Aristophanes

Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some people stay for awhile,
and move our souls to dance.
They awaken us to a new understanding,
leave footprints on our hearts,
and we are never, ever the same.
- Flavia Weedn

Be a yardstick of quality.
Some people aren't used to an environment
where excellence is expected.
- Steve Jobs

A moral being is one who is capable of reflecting
on his past actions and their motives -
of approving of some and disapproving of others.
- Charles Darwin

A sense of humor... is needed armor.
Joy in one's heart and some laughter on one's lips
is a sign that the person down deep
has a pretty good grasp of life.
- Hugh Sidey

You can fool all the people some of the time,
and some of the people all the time,
but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
- Abraham Lincoln (sometimes attributed to P. T. Barnum)

We're constantly striving for success, fame and comfort
when all we really need to be happy
is someone or some thing to be enthusiastic about.
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Since it is not granted to us to live long,
let us transmit to posterity some memorial that we have at least lived.
- E. Joseph Cossman

It is only in adventure that some people
succeed in knowing themselves -
in finding themselves.
- Andre Gide

There are some things you learn best in calm,
and some in storm.
- Willa Cather

Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities have crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day;
you shall begin it serenely
and with too high a spirit
to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive.
He who is devoid of the power to forgive
is devoid of the power to love.
There is some good in the worst of us
and some evil in the best of us.
When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Take some time in a quiet place to contemplate
the balance between being of service -
both to this generation and to generations yet unborn -
and renewing your vitality with play and celebration.
Without play, one becomes old and dry.
Without service, life becomes meaningless.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

There is some good in the worst of us
and some evil in the best of us.
When we discover this,
we are less prone to hate our enemies.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.


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May the world be kind to you,
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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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