Each word bears its weight, so you have to read my poems quite slowly.
The sea is as near as we come to another world.
There's no friend like someone who has known you since you were five.
I am now seventy, rather glad, really, that I won't live to see the horrors to come in the 21st century.
A poem might be defined as thinking about feelings - about human feelings and frailties.
I'm not really quiet or shy. Ask any of my friends! But I always ground my poetry in life itself. Poetry is an art of language, though, so I am always aware of every word's meaning, or multiple meanings.
I did know Ted Hughes and I partly wrote the book to explain to myself and others the complexities of a marriage that was for six years wonderfully productive of poetry and then ended in tragedy.
There comes a time when you have to trust your own judgment, when you must close your eyes and let your instinct rule you.
how will I recognize you if we meet?
Blake has always been a favorite, the lyrics, not so much the prophetic books, but I suppose Yeats influenced me more as a young poet, and the American, Robert Frost.
I like rhyme because it is memorable, I like form because having to work to a pattern gives me original ideas.
Mind led body
to the edge of the precipice.
They stared in desire
at the naked abyss.
If you love me, said mind,
take that step into silence.
If you love me, said body,
turn and exist.
I work very hard on all my poems, but most of the work consists of trying not to sound as if I had worked. I try to make them sound as natural as possible, but within a quite strict form, which to my ears has a lot to do with musical rhythm and sound.
There is far too much literary criticism of the wrong kind. That is why I never could have survived as an academic.
When everything is for 'fun' nothing is for the good.
I have always made my own rules, in poetry as in life - though I have tried of late to cooperate more with my family. I do, however, believe that without order or pattern poetry is useless.
I play with language a great deal in my poems, and I enjoy that. I try to condense language, that is, I try to express complicated but I hope real emotions as simply as possible. But that doesn't mean the poems are simple, just that they are as truthful as I can make them.
Sylvia Plath was just a month and a half older than I, and when she committed suicide I was only 30 - and very shocked and sorry. I never knew her personally.
My earlier poems were sadder than my poems are today, perhaps because I wrote them in confusion or when I was unhappy. But I am not a melancholy person, quite the contrary, no one enjoys laughing more than I do.
Yes, I do often write poems from the mind, but I hope I don't ignore feelings and emotions.
democracy is dying. We are ruled by faceless bureaucrats and lecherous puritans. ... You think about it. 'All right for me but not for you' is their philosophy.
A hobbyhorse can be a tiring ride for nonenthusiasts.
Poets should ignore most criticism and get on with making poetry.
I think a poet, like a painter, should be a craftsperson.
Blackbirds are the cellos of the deep farms.
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