Thursday, December 20, 2012

Snapshots from "A Poet's Sourcebook" (11)

from Naomi Shihab Nye
She knew what I meant. That was a wing to fly on all the way home, or for the rest of a life.

from Rita Dove
And when someone tells you your poem is bad, it doesn't mean that your heart is bad.

from Sam Watson
In November 1974, a BOAC aircraft was hijacked in Dubai by Palestinian terrorists. The aircraft was flown to Tunisia and held on the tarmac for three days. [Indigenous Australian poet] Kath Walker, member of the Steering Committee for the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture, was on that plane. Walker pleaded with the hijackers on behalf of the passengers, particularly a German banker who had been targeted for execution.

from Lynda Hull
Gone to seed, ailanthus, the poverty
     tree. Take a phrase, then
fracture it, the pods' gaudy nectarine shades
          ripening to parrots taking flight, all crest
and tall feathers.
                                       A musical idea.

from Teresa Carson
I admit that, in some ways, it would be hard to find two poets more different in personal or poetic style. It might be easy to elevate Keats as a "true poet" and dismiss Jack [Wiler] as a "loud poseur." Keats was Apollo; Jack was Lear's Fool. Keats lived on Mount Helicon; Jack lived in Jersey City. Keats was a prophet; Jack, by his own admission, was "the jibbering monkey." One imagines Keats standing in a Greek amphitheater, intoning "Ode to a Nightingale" to hushed acolytes. One imagines Jack commanding a makeshift stage in Starr's Bar, shouting "How to Succeed in Pest Control" to heckling drunks.

from Dawn Potter
Great art grows from the intensity of an artist's interaction with her own life. I don't mean to imply that her life has to be dramatic or even all that interesting. But the artist must make long acquaintance with her days--days that are rarely trancelike but that plod through the seasons: that strip the beds and ream out the barns and trudge through the snow to the insurance office.

from Honoree Fanonne Jeffers
After all, we had not studied
the masters' poesy, we knew
nothing about central metaphors,
conceits, literary vehicles.

from Brenda Shaughnessy
Sometimes dangerous girls meet each other and it's almost as if they are time-travelers.

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