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.
As the heat of the coal differs from the coal itself, so do memory, perception, judgment, emotion, and will, differ from the brain which is the instrument of thought.
The moment of inspiration can come from memory, or language, or the imagination, or experience – anything that makes an impression forcibly enough for language to form.
I shall go the way of the open sea, to the lands I knew before you came, and the cool ocean breezes shall blow from me the memory of your name.
Memory, in widow’s weeds, with naked feet stands on a tombstone.
A poet ought not to pick nature’s pocket. Let him borrow, and so borrow as to repay by the very act of borrowing. Examine nature accurately, but write from recollection, and trust more to the imagination than the memory.
If history starts as a guest list, it has a tendency to end like the memory of a drunken party: misheard, blurred, fragmentary.
I have always been amazed at the way an ordinary observer lends so much more credence and attaches so much more importance to waking events than to those occurring in dreams… Man… is above all the plaything of his memory.
There’ll always be working people in my poems because I grew up with them, and I am a poet of memory.
The Iraq War was the biggest issue for people of my generation in the West. It was also the clearest case, in my living memory, of media manipulation and the creation of a war through ignorance.