Our poems will have failed if our readers are not brought by them beyond the poems.
I think it is important for readers to know that it is possible to bring intellectualism and idealism to the White House and still be political enough to advance an agenda.
As writers and readers, as sinners and citizens, our realism and our aesthetic sense make us wary of crediting the positive note.
In relation to a writer, most readers believe in the Double Standard: they may be unfaithful to him as often as they like, but he must never, never be unfaithful to them.
A work survives its readers; after a hundred or two hundred years, it is read by new readers who impose on it new modes of reading and interpretation. The work survives because of these interpretations, which are, in fact, resurrections: without them, there would be no work.
As writers become more numerous, it is natural for readers to become more indolent; whence must necessarily arise a desire of attaining knowledge with the greatest possible ease.
The difference is slight, to the influence of an author, whether he is read by five hundred readers, or by five hundred thousand; if he can select the five hundred, he reaches the five hundred thousand.
It seems to me that readers sometimes make the genesis of a poem more mysterious than it is (by that I perhaps mean, think of it as something outside their own experience).
Reading, like writing, is a creative act. If readers only bring a narrow range of themselves to the book, then they’ll only see their narrow range reflected in it.
I’m always astonished by the confidence my readers put in me.