Thursday, December 13, 2012

Snapshots from "A Poet's Sourcebook" (9)

from Hayden Carruth
Once the poet was our spokesman and not our oracle, our advocate and not our secret agent, or at least he was as much the one as the other; and if he did not speak for us, all of us, fully and warmly, if his poems lacked the larger vision of humanity, we said he was deficient in one of the qualities that, virtually by definition, make a poet.

from Philip Larkin
It is fatal to decide, intellectually, what good poetry is because you are then in honour bound to try to write it, instead of the poems that only you can write.

from Denise Levertov
And in a dream these things danced together and reassembled.

from John Berger
One can say anything to language. This is why it is a listener, closer to us than any silence or any god.

from Philip Levine
What Lorca gave me as no other poet had was a validation of my own emotions, which meant a validation of what I was trying and failing to write.

from Adrienne Rich
My swirling wants. Your frozen lips.
The grammar turned and attacked me.
Themes, written under duress.
Emptiness of the notations.

from Gregory Corso
When I got the proofs I felt both good and sad, good because there are some very good poems in book, and sad because there aren't any poems that bespeak my dream my idea my lyric, God knows what, but I definitely feel the book lacks the dessert of my poetry.

from Gary Snyder
You cannot communicate with the forces of nature in a laboratory.

from Audre Lorde
The erotic is a measure between the beginnings of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings.