In true education, anything that comes to our hand is as good as a book: the prank of a page- boy, the blunder of a servant, a bit of table talk – they are all part of the curriculum.
One mistake with beginners in writing is, that they think it important to spin out something long. It is a great deal better not to write more than a page or two, unless you have something to say, and can write it correctly.
When I’m actually writing by hand, I get more of a sense of the rhythm of sentences, of syntax. The switch to the computer is when I actually start thinking about lines. That’s the workhorse part. At that point, I’m being more mathematical about putting the poem on the page and less intuitive about the rhythm of the syntax.
Wherever, on the face of the globe or on the page of history, you show me a disfranchised class, I will show you a degraded class of labor.
And some poets are far better read off the page because they’re very bad speakers. I’m thinking of one in particular whom I won’t name, a good poet, and he reads in such a dry, boring way, your eyes start drooping.
Verse is not written, it is bled; Out of the poet’s abstract head. Words drip the poem on the page; Out of his grief, delight and rage.
I’m not sure that the benefit – as a writer and as a citizen – that I would get from reading at least the front page of the Times every day or every other day would outweigh the depression.
There is no Frigate like a book to take us lands away nor any coursers like a page of prancing Poetry.
Revision is the heart of writing. Every page I do is done over seven or eight times.
Lyric poetry is, of course, musical in origin. I do know that what happened to poetry in the twentieth century was that it began to be written for the page. When it’s a question of typography, why not? Poets have done beautiful things with typography – Apollinaire’s ‘Calligrammes,’ that sort of thing.