There’s not a good poet I know who has not at the beck and call of his memory a vast quantity of poetry that composes his mental library.
No man can be a failure if he thinks he’s a success; If he thinks he is a winner, then he is.
If dysfunction means that a family doesn’t work, then every family ambles into some arena in which that happens, where relationships get strained or even break down entirely. We fail each other or disappoint each other. That goes for parents, siblings, kids, marriage partners – the whole enchilada.
The emotional stakes a memoirist bets with could not be higher, and it’s physically enervating. I nap on a daily basis like a cross-country trucker.
There is a Mount Sinai for every child of God if he only knows where to find it.
I am not ‘in pursuit of truth.’ It is not my ‘quarry.’ I am of my human nature a thinker, and conscious of need, responsibility of thinking-speaking with truth. I do not go about hunting ‘truths.’
I think being tortured as a virtue is a kind of antiquated sense of what it is to be an artist. It comes out of that Symbolist idea, back to Rimbaud and all that disordering of the senses and all of that being some exalted state. When I’ve been that way, I’ve always been less exalted than I would have liked.
I don’t have a copy of my books, and the degree to which I never read them is profound. I never look.
Be yourself, but always your better self.
The end of poetry is not to create a physical condition which shall give pleasure to the mind… The end of poetry is not an after-effect, not a pleasurable memory of itself, but an immediate, constant and even unpleasant insistence upon itself.