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Robert Morgan Quotes and Sayings

I hope you find great value in these Quotes by Robert Morgan from my large collection of motivational and inspirational quotes and sayings.

The great watershed of modern poetry is French,
more than English.
- Robert Morgan

In the later books I am much more at home in the use
of language to describe things.
I had never thought of that until a critic pointed that out.
- Robert Morgan

Philip Larkin has a tough honesty and sense of humor
that I find irresistible,
as a contemporary poet.
- Robert Morgan

Some people want to call me an Appalachian writer,
even though I know some people use regional labels to belittle.
- Robert Morgan

 

I think that it's more likely that in my 60s and 70s
I will be writing poetry rather than fiction.
- Robert Morgan

I learned to impersonate the kind of person that talks about poetry.
It comes from teaching, I think.
- Robert Morgan

The decision to write in prose instead of poetry is
made more by the readers than by writers.
Almost no one is interested in reading narrative in verse.
- Robert Morgan

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I have taught students from the New York City area
so long I have a special affinity and rapport with them.
It surprises me sometimes that there are students from anywhere else.
- Robert Morgan

I love to create interesting textures with language.
You can do it as long as it seems like a discovery.
- Robert Morgan

I seem to keep returning to my father in poems because
his personality was so extreme,
so driven.
He did everything to excess.
- Robert Morgan

Among the American contemporaries I read with most
enjoyment are several North Carolinians.
I think the best poetry being written these days is
being written by Southerners.
- Robert Morgan

You have to really dive deep back into yourself and
get rid of so much modern analytical categorization.
It's one of the great things poetry does.
- Robert Morgan

One of the most powerful devices is to distort time,
to go from human time to atomic time,
geologic time.
Sometimes you can actually accomplish that,
with one unexpected word choice.
- Robert Morgan

Pound's translation of Chinese poetry was maybe the
most important thing I read.
Eliot a little bit later.
- Robert Morgan

I don't think the creative writing industry has helped American poetry.
- Robert Morgan

If people associate me with a region,
that's fine with me.
- Robert Morgan

Neither of my parents has been very sensitive about my writing.
- Robert Morgan

The best books of our times have included the three
mature volumes of Philip Larkin.
They're very short books of poems, and very carefully arranged.
- Robert Morgan

What actually makes poetry poetry is of course impossible to define.
We recognize it when we hear it, when we see it,
but we can't define it.
- Robert Morgan

Our most famous writers are Faulkner and Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor.
It would make sense that the poetry would reflect some of those same values,
some of the same techniques.
- Robert Morgan

In the late 60s and early 70s, I did get interested in voices,
and in narration and embodying the voice,
making the poem sound like a real person talking.
- Robert Morgan

Young writers only take off when they find their subjects.
Since almost everyone has a family and stories about family,
that is often a place to start.
- Robert Morgan

I love chapbooks.
They're in some ways the ideal form in which to publish and read poems.
You can read 19 poems in a way you can't sit down and
read 60 to 70 pages of poems.
- Robert Morgan

We have a lot of long narrative poems written in the 20th century,
but they're not very well known, and they're not read by very many people.
- Robert Morgan

Part of what we love about poetry is the fact that it seems ancient,
that it has an authority of ancient language and ancient form,
and that it's timeless, that it reaches back.
- Robert Morgan

A lot of my students are Asian-American,
and it has been thrilling to watch them break through
the stereotypes into something alive and surprising.
- Robert Morgan

I tell students they will know they are getting somewhere
when a scene is so painful they can just barely bring
themselves to write about it.
A writer has to draw blood.
- Robert Morgan

Maybe the example of Southern fiction writing has been
so powerful that Southern poets have sort of keyed themselves to that.
- Robert Morgan

Southern poets are still writing narrative poems,
poems in forms, dramatic poems.
- Robert Morgan

The idea of avant-garde art is a very suspicious thing to me,
the idea that poetry is new and it keeps being new
the way Chevrolets every year are new.
- Robert Morgan

It was less a literary thing than a linguistic,
philosophical preoccupation...
discovering how far you can go with language to create immediate,
elementary experience.
- Robert Morgan

I considered going to film school; I took a course
in film and was very interested in filmmaking as well as film writing.
- Robert Morgan

Alchemy is the art of far and near, and I think poetry is alchemy in that way.
It's delightful to distort size, to see something that's
tiny as though it were vast.
- Robert Morgan

Poetry, almost by definition, calls attention to its language and form.
- Robert Morgan

I write as a way of keeping myself going.
You build your life around writing, and it's what gets you through.
So it's partly just curiosity to see what you can do.
- Robert Morgan

With prose you can incorporate more details,
develop scenes, sustain the tension in a special way.
Prose has its own speed.
- Robert Morgan

Some people swear by writing courses,
but whether it really helps American poetry,
I have doubts.
- Robert Morgan

The Language Poets are writing only about language itself.
The Ashbery poets are writing only about poetry itself.
That seems to me a kind of dead end.
- Robert Morgan

Teaching writing over the years intrudes on your own
writing in important ways,
taking away some of the excitement of poetry.
- Robert Morgan

Distance not only gives nostalgia, but perspective,
and maybe objectivity.
- Robert Morgan

I encourage students to pursue an idea far enough so
they can see what the cliches and stereotypes are.
Only then do they begin to hit pay dirt.
- Robert Morgan

Fiction is about intimacy with characters,
events, places.
- Robert Morgan

If a poem is not memorable, there's probably something wrong.
One of the problems of free verse is that much of the
free verse poetry is not memorable.
- Robert Morgan

I did not have a very literary background.
I came to poetry from the sciences and mathematics,
and also through an interest in Japanese and Chinese poetry in translation.
- Robert Morgan

The young people have MTV and rock and roll.
Why would they go to read poetry? Poetry belongs to the Stone Age.
It awakens in us perceptions that go back to those times.
- Robert Morgan

I don't think poetry is something that can be taught.
We can encourage young writers, but what you can't
teach them is the very essence of poetry.
- Robert Morgan

The Black Mountain poet I like most is the early Creeley.
Those early poems seem very lyrical and very traditional,
with a lot of voice and character.
- Robert Morgan

One of the most powerful devices of poetry is the use of distortions.
You can go from talking about the way a minute passes
to the way a century passes,
or a lifetime.
- Robert Morgan

Young writers find their first audience in little magazines,
and experimental writers find their only audience there.
- Robert Morgan

A poem in form still has to have voice,
gesture, a sense of discovery, a metaphoric connection,
as any poetry does.
- Robert Morgan

The fact that something is in a rhymed form or in blank
verse will not make it good poetry.
- Robert Morgan

In the best fiction, the language itself can become almost invisible.
- Robert Morgan

When you have an idea for a story, you want those characters
to reach as many people as you can.
I think you normally think of prose as a way of doing that.
It fits our time, the culture.
- Robert Morgan

I love to compare different time frames.
Poetry can evoke the time of the subject.
By a very careful choice of words you can evoke an era,
completely throw the poem into a different time scale.
- Robert Morgan

One of the biggest changes that ever occurred in my
life was going from the isolation of working part-time
as a house painter in Henderson County,
to Cornell, where everybody was a literary person.
- Robert Morgan

I don't think American poetry has gotten any better in the past 35 years.
Oddly enough, creative writing programs seem to have been good for fiction,
and I would not have predicted that.
- Robert Morgan

The essence of life is not in
the great victories and grand failures,
but in the simple joys.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Silence is a source of great strength.
- Lao Tzu

Where there is great love,
there are always miracles.
- Willa Cather

To lead a great life:
Dream, Take Action, Repeat.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

If (s)he's an apple and you're an orange,
celebrate your differences -
make a great fruit salad.
Love isn't about being the same -
it's about being sweet with each other.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

There are trivial truths and there are great truths.
The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false.
The opposite of a great truth is also true.
- Niels Bohr

Dare to dream of your great success.
Become intimate with those things
which deeply motivate you
and regularly work toward
the realization of that mission.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop,
striped and dotted with continents and islands,
flying through space with other stars
all singing and shining together as one,
the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.
- John Muir

To the young child, all life is a great adventure -
when did we grow so dull and brittle.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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.

You are important. You are the star -
the only star - of your own life show.
Everyone else is a bit player in the great drama of your life.
Be of service to humanity, but never be anyone's doormat.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

You will become as small as your controlling desire;
as great as your dominant aspiration.
- James Allen

Great oaks from little acorns grow.
- Proverb

We come nearest to the great
when we are great in humility.
- Rabindranath Tagore


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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

 


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