I think people turn to poetry more often than they think they do, or encounter it in more ways than they think that they do. I think we forget the places that we encounter it, say, in songs or in other little bits and pieces of things that we may have remembered from childhood.
The Greeks were the first boxers. Pugilism appears to have been one of the earliest distinctions in play and exercise that appeared between the Hellenes and their Asiatic fathers. The unarmed personal encounter was indicative of a sturdier manhood.
No matter how brief an encounter you have with anybody, you both change.
I still have a feeling that I haven’t written the best that I can write. I think all poets must feel this: that there is constantly something new to be discovered in the language. It’s like a thrilling encounter, and you can find things.
Today’s Islamic fundamentalism is also a cover for political motifs. We should not overlook the political motifs we encounter in forms of religious fanaticism.
In the Bible, we first encounter God when he sides with a bunch of slaves against a powerful Pharaoh, an act of grace freely given.
Democracy does not require perfect equality, but it does require that citizens share a common life. What matters is that people of different backgrounds and social positions encounter one another, and bump up against one another, in the course of ordinary life.
A man in my situation, my lords, has not only to encounter the difficulties of fortune. and the force of power over minds which it has corrupted or subjugated. but the difficulties of established prejudice: the man dies, but his memory lives.
‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ had a formative effect on me. I think it’s one of those works that if you encounter it very early you’re doubly enchanted by the beauty of the language and the strangeness of the vision. It stays with you.
No one that encounters prosperity does not also encounter danger.