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Most victims of my autobiographical verse are either far too polite,
by 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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I feel very connected to poets across the country.
- 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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 called to be architects of the future, not its victims.
- R. Buckminster Fuller

Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly
terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.
- Samuel Butler

The Defense Department must do a better job of providing
the best possible care for service women who are victims of sexual assault.
- Louise Slaughter

Societies need to have one illness which becomes identified with evil,
and attaches blame to its victims.
- Susan Sontag

Unfortunately, cancer is the number one killer of children in this country today,
and it destroys not only these innocent victims,
but their families as well.
- Michael McCaul

Somewhere we turn ourselves into victims instead of
being the powerful women we really are meant to be.
- Judith Light

I like to do projects in which you can see statistical results.
I am very happy for all these small children,
who have been the biggest group of victims of iodine deficiency.
- Anatoly Karpov

Nine out of 10 war victims die from a gun.
- Andrew Niccol

Too often, older women are seen as victims,
but I know lots of formidable women who have marvellous
jobs as well as a full erotic life,
and children and friends and family.
- Francesca Annis

For your benefit, learn from our tragedy.
It is not a written law that the next victims must be Jews.
It can also be other people.
- Simon Wiesenthal

Children are often the silent victims of drug abuse.
- Rick Larsen

When I can no longer bear to think of the victims of broken homes,
I begin to think of the victims of intact ones.
- Peter De Vries

Potentially, a government is the most dangerous threat to man's rights:
it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force
against legally disarmed victims.
- Ayn Rand

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate
needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.
- Niccolo Machiavelli

We have to keep in mind that it's not just about the
numbers of people who died;
it's also the manner which many of these victims met their deaths.
- Iris Chang

We hear so much about weapons of mass destruction.
But nine out of 10 war victims are killed by guns.
It's the AK-47 that's a weapon of mass destruction.
- Andrew Niccol

Force is as pitiless to the man who possesses it,
or thinks he does, as it is to its victims;
the second it crushes,
the first it intoxicates.
The truth is, nobody really possesses it.
- Simone Weil

Fascism is not defined by the number of its victims,
but by the way it kills them.
- Jean-Paul Sartre

The generosity of the American public toward the victims
of Hurricane Katrina and the Tsunami has been reflected
in the outpouring of support for the Pakistani earthquake victims.
- Jon Porter

Too much mercy...
often resulted in further crimes which were fatal to
innocent victims who need not have been victims if
justice had been put first and mercy second.
- Agatha Christie

Black people are victims of an enormous amount of violence.
None of those things can take place without the complicity
of the people who run the schools and the city.
- Toni Morrison

In the deregulated realm of US banking and finance,
crime does occasionally pay for its foul deeds,
not in prison time but by making modest rebates to the victims.
- William Greider

As long as we're dependent on those fossil fuels,
we're dependent on the Middle East.
If we are not victims, we're certainly captives.
- John McHugh

Solutions will not be found while Indigenous people
are treated as victims for whom someone else must find solutions.
- Malcolm Fraser

Sympathy for victims is always counter-balanced by
an equal and opposite feeling of resentment towards them.
- Ben Elton

Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for
the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.
- C. S. Lewis

I hate victims who respect their executioners.
- Jean-Paul Sartre

I have yet to see a drama that puts forward women who
are successful and have a family.
Women are nearly always seen as victims.
- Francesca Annis

The Second World War claimed tens of millions of victims.
- Jean-Marie Le Pen

They know they're going to look beautiful,
and I don't think women should look like costumes.
They shouldn't look like fashion victims.
- Ralph Lauren

It seems, though, that historically we have now reached
a position in which Jews cannot legitimately be understood
always and only as presumptive victims.
- Judith Butler

Our goodness comes solely from thinking on goodness;
our wickedness from thinking on wickedness.
We too are the victims of our own contemplation.
- John Jay Chapman

I say let's respond as best we can to the victims and their families.
- William P. Leahy

Most well-known serial killers have victims numbering in the dozens,
have sent taunting letters to the police or have done
bizarre things to the bodies.
- Pat Brown

A coquette is like a recruiting sergeant,
always on the lookout for fresh victims.
- Douglas Jerrold

For decades, the violence in the Middle East has claimed
a multitude of innocent civilian victims:
Men,
women and children, Arab and Israeli.
- John Conyers

I intentionally aided them by being there and blocking
an avenue of escape for the victims.
- Robert Iler

Blondes make the best victims.
They're like virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints.
- Alfred Hitchcock

We're all going to be victims of temptation at several points in our lives.
- Smokey Robinson


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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