Nothing in the universe can travel at the speed of light, they say, forgetful of the shadow's speed.
When Robert Frost was alive, I was known as the other new England poet, which is to be barely known at all.
A teacher is a person who never says anything once.
[T]eaching has been for me an education (Lord knows what it has been for my students).
Write what you know. That should leave you with a lot of free time.
Writing is like the relationship with your bowels. First you can, then you can't. Finally, you must. Only then should you reach for the paper.
I think there's one thing which distinguishes our art - we don't consider. We don't think. We write a little verse because it comes to us.
The only way out is the way through, just as you cannot escape death except by dying. Being unable to write, you must examine in writing this being unable, which becomes for the present -henceforth?- the subject to which you are condemned.
The secrets of success are a good wife and a steady job. My wife told me.
A lot happens by accident in poetry.
History is one of those marvelous and necessary illusions we have to deal with. It's one of the ways of dealing with our world with impossible generalities which we couldn't live without.
A chronicle is very different from history proper.
I am not at all clear what free verse is anymore. That's one of the things you learn not to know.
I liked the kid who wrote me that he had to do a term paper on a modern poet and he was doing me because, though they say you have to read poems twice, he found he could handle mine in one try.
We think about sex obsessively except during the act, when our minds tend to wander.
When you write it doesn't occur to you that somebody could think different from what you do.
Both poet and painter want to reach the silence behind the language, the silence within the language. Both painter and poet want their work to shine not only in daylight but (by whatever illusionist magic) from within.
Short stories amount for the most part to parlour tricks, party favours with built-in snappers, gadgets for including recognition and reversals
Religion and science both profess peace (and the sincerity of the professors is not being doubted), but each always turns out to have a dominant part in any war that is going or contemplated.
I do insist on making what I hope is sense so there's always a coherent narrative or argument that the reader can follow.
I like all my children, even the squat and ugly ones.
I've thought of the last line of some poems for years and tried them out, It wouldn't work because the last line was much too beautiful for the poem.
Obvious enough that generalities work to protect the mind from the great outdoors; is it possible that this was in fact their first purpose?
I have a plot, but not much happens.
Once in awhile you have a thought, and you rhyme it.
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