Tuesday, December 06, 2005

More Quotes & Two Brief Poems

My feeling about meters and forms generally is that for a good poet—a poet who has the strength to take them over—they are undated and indeed timeless. For such a poet, they are simply instruments or contraptions which heighten and empower his words.
--Richard Wilbur

The poetry that fails the genius of its medium today is the poetry of mere self. It embarrasses all of us. The voice in it is not large but inflated. A voice that expands not to the size of a soul (capable of being both personal and communal, both private and historical) but to the size of an ego.
What I find most consistently moving about the act of a true poem is the way it puts the self at genuine risk. The kind of risk Robert Frost refers to when he describes the “ideals of form” as “where all our ingenuity is lavished on getting into danger legitimately so that we may be genuinely rescued.”
--Jorie Graham

To stay the same is to become a diminished thing.


Away With Funeral Music

Away with funeral music—set
The pipe to powerful lips—
The cup of life’s for him that drinks
And not for him that sips.

--Robert Louis Stevenson

For a Mouthy Woman

God and the devil still are wrangling
Which should have her, which repel;
God wants no discord in his heaven;
Satan has enough in hell.

--Countee Cullen


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