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).
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.
Write what you know. That should leave you with a lot of free time.
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.
A lot happens by accident in poetry.
The secrets of success are a good wife and a steady job. My wife told me.
I sometimes talk about the making of a poem within the poem.
When in still air and still in summertime
A leaf has had enough of this, it seems
To make up its mind to go; fine as a sage
Its drifting in detachment down the road.
Till I, high in the tower of my time Among familiar ruins, began to cry For accident, sickness, justice, war and crime, Because all died, because I had to die. The snow fell, the trees stood, the promise kept, And a child I slept.
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.
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.
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.
I never abandoned either forms or freedom. I imagine that most of what could be called free verse is in my first book. I got through that fairly early.
We think about sex obsessively except during the act, when our minds tend to wander.
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.
Children, to be illustrious is sad.
The spirit world doesn't admit to communicating with me, so it's fairly even.
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
Absolute power corrupts absolutely; and if you surrender your personal responsibility to a government which promises to take care of you, they will only take care of themselves.
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