I am a vigilant monarchist. I want to see things evolve. The direction the monarchy seems to be moving in – towards a more mainland-European model – is one I would feel sympathetic about.
I mean we grew up in a TB bus and I became a TB doctor.
Man is to man either a god or a wolf.
If you keep thinking about what you want to do or what you hope will happen, you don’t do it, and it won’t happen.
But in a lot of ways my poems are very conventional, and it’s no big deal for me to write a poem in either free verse or strict form; modern poets can, and do, do both.
If we had more time for discussion we should probably have made a great many more mistakes.
Luther was guilty of two great crimes – he struck the Pope in his crown, and the monks in their belly.
It is the chiefest point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is.
I wanted to reimagine the role, in a way that was respectful of its traditional responsibilities but made them part of a wider pattern of poetry about national incidents, events, preoccupations; and to spend a great deal of time going to schools trying to demystify poetry.
The nearer people approach old age the closer they return to a semblance of childhood, until the time comes for them to depart this life, again like children, neither tired of living nor aware of death.