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.
I’m always astonished by the confidence my readers put in me.
His life, though none too long, Was never dull: Of woman, wine and song Bill had his full.
Write verse, not poetry. The public wants verse. If you have a talent for poetry, then don’t by any means mother it, but try your hand at verse.
I was 40 years old before I became an overnight success, and I’d been publishing for 20 years.
Poetry is for me Eucharistic. You take someone else’s suffering into your body, their passion comes into your body, and in doing that you commune, you take communion, you make a community with others.
I have some friends, some honest friends, and honest friends are few; My pipe of briar, my open fire, A book that’s not too new.