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Writing can sometimes be exploitative.
by 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

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 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

 

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

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Who is the ideal reader? God only knows.
- 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

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

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 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 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 poet must decide not to impose his feelings in
order to write without sentimentality.
- 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 find it exhausting to administer a magazine without an office or paid staff.
- 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

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

Reading should be a repeat performance.
- 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

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

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

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

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

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

Writing is a dance with the uncertainties of language.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God
who is sending a love letter to the world.
- Mother Teresa

Do you have a plan for your life?
If not, allocate some time today to sit quietly
with pen and paper to begin writing your life plan -
what you want to accomplish with your life,
and what projects will support your goals.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

For my part, I consider that it will be found much better
by all parties to leave the past to history,
especially as I propose to write that history myself.
- Winston Churchill

LOVE LETTERS TO YOURSELF
This is taken from a love letter (a gentle reminder)
I wrote to myself recently.
Live in your joy today.
Be authentic. Love yourself. First.
Love others from your own abundance.
Life Changes. Circumstances change.
Sometimes you try to fit your old way
of being into new circumstances
rather than becoming new yourself.
Embrace transformation as an opportunity.
And keep on writing love letters to yourself.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

The digital revolution is far more significant than
the invention of writing or even of printing.
- Douglas Engelbart

I wasn't very good about juggling family and my career.
I was interested in who was coming to the children's birthday party,
what my son was writing.
I was thinking about Legos.
- Jill Clayburgh

We do not need to proselytize
either by our speech or by our writing.
We can only do so really with our lives.
Let our lives be open books for all to study.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

Nothing goes by luck in composition.
It allows of no tricks.
The best you can write will be the best you are.
- Henry David Thoreau

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.
- Laurie Anderson

If you can't annoy somebody with what you write,
I think there's little point in writing.
- Kingsley Amis

Was it only by dreaming or writing that I could find out what I thought?
- Joan Didion

Writing for the theater, you find yourself living a nocturnal life.
- Irwin Shaw

We all have these tendencies in us that could go this way or that.
I think that's the real key in writing.
To look at a character without judgment.
- Paul Haggis

I have grown in my writing and I care about it now
and I know how important it is to write stuff.
- Charles King

I've loved doing "E.R." for the quality of the writing
and the great people I get to work with.
- Julie Bowen

In writing music, the structure of each piece is a very important factor.
- Leo Ornstein

A great many people seem to think writing poetry is worthwhile,
even though it pays next to nothing and is not as widely read as it should be.
- Mark Strand

I remember once, when I started writing for the alto saxophone,
a saxophonist told me to think of it as being like
a cross between an oboe and a viola,
but louder.
- Gavin Bryars

I've been doing my big theater projects,
which take years, and writing a song here and there.
- David Friedman

I'm not writing just about melancholy stuff anymore,
I made a point to cover a wide range of emotions.
- Chantal Kreviazuk

The question is not really about a shift to the economic
cone where officers are writing about the balance of
payments and the need for economic stabilization.
- Lawrence Eagleburger

They're mostly done before we went into the studio,
although I do like writing in the studio.
- Keith Urban

It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can
earn much more money writing or talking about his art
than he can by practicing it.
- W. H. Auden

One thing I've tried to do in writing music is take on very basic things,
very archetypal things.
- Harrison Birtwistle

When you're working with a smaller budget I suppose
one of the things that has to be in your mind when
you are writing is that you have to keep the characters down to a minimum.
- Atom Egoyan

It's hard for me to just practice without writing something.
- Geddy Lee

I started writing seriously about 1960,
at the fairly advanced age of 30.
- Fred Saberhagen

I am writing a book and that takes third place of importance.
- John Entwistle

Writing is no trouble: you just jot down ideas as they occur to you.
The jotting is simplicity itself - it is the occurring which is difficult.
- Stephen Leacock

There is more good writing and good acting in any ten
minutes of Twister than in,
say, all of Citizen Kane.
- Orson Scott Card

I like to talk on TV about those things that aren't worth writing about.
- Truman Capote

I obviously prefer writing novels but I take my journalism very seriously,
and I enjoy doing it between novels.
It gives me an opportunity to move in the outside world.
- Mordecai Richler

It seems to me that many writers, by virtue of environments of culture,
art and education, slip into writing because of their environments.
- Robert E. Howard

Pamphlets on Sabbath writing are in request here I
have been applied to for them by several of the old
Methodists knowing that I had them to sell before.
- John Hawley

Good writers are often excellent at a hundred other things,
but writing promises a greater latitude for the ego.
- John Cheever

Seventy percent of what I write, I throw out.
I can write very easily, but writing original things is the hard bit.
- Mike Rutherford

I can write for any magazine now, in any voice.
I can do it in two hours, I could do it in my sleep,
it's like writing a grocery list.
- Ann Patchett

Writing is an incredibly lonely job.
- R. A. Salvatore


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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