The artist is extremely lucky who is presented with the worst possible ordeal which will not actually kill him. At that point, he’s in business.
The man of science, the artist, the philosopher are attached to their nations as much as the day-laborer and the merchant.
The genuine artist is never ‘true to life.’ He sees what is real, but not as we are normally aware of it. We do not go storming through life like actors in a play. Art is never real life.
The poet, being an imitator like a painter or any other artist, must of necessity imitate one of three objects – things as they were or are, things as they are said or thought to be, or things as they ought to be. The vehicle of expression is language – either current terms or, it may be, rare words or metaphors.
It ought to be illegal for an artist to marry. If the artist must marry let him find someone more interested in art, or his art, or the artist part of him, than in him. After which let them take tea together three times a week.
Every intelligent person, whether he’s an artist or not – a mathematician, a doctor, a scientist – possesses a poetic way of seeing and describing the world.
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.
The last thing a young artist should do in poetry or any other field is think about what’s in style, what’s current, what are the trends. Think instead of what you like to read, what do you admire, what you like to listen to in music. What do you like to look at in architecture? Try to make a poem that has some of those qualities.
Is the biographer an artist who can and should exist on equal terms with the dramatist, fiction writer and poet? The short and robust answer is, ‘Certainly not.’
Frost is the greatest artist in our clime – he paints in nature and describes in rime.