Nine writers talking about poetry

Stephen Spender: “Great poetry is always written by somebody straining to go beyond what he can do.”

Benjamin Zephaniah: “I would say that the poet’s role was to question things in an accessible way and to raise people’s spirits.”

Les Murray: “My poetry is like a rope in a shipwreck.”

Rubem Alves: “Poetry: this desperate attempt to say what cannot be said.”

Martín Prechtel: “Poetry is the most honey-tasting form of subversion.”

Robert Frost: “It begins in delight, it inclines to the impulse, it assumes direction with the first line laid down, it runs a course of lucky events, and ends in a clarification of life – not necessarily a great clarification, such as sects and cults are founded on, but in a momentary stay against confusion.”

Pablo Neruda: “Poetry…has a cat’s nine lives. They harass it, they drag it through the streets, they spit on it and make it the butt of their jokes, they try to strangle it, drive it into exile, throw it into prison, pump lead into it, and it survives every attempt with a clear face and a smile as bright as grains of rice.”

Adrian Mitchell: “I write my poems for love  –  love of language, love of my family, friends and animals, love of the planet, love of life, and I’d be a damned fool if I didn’t.”

Dylan Thomas: “Poetry is what…makes my toenails twinkle…”

 

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