WS Merwin On Poetry

William Stanley Merwin (September 30, 1927 – March 15, 2019) When a poem is really finished, you can’t change anything. You can’t move words around. You can’t say, ‘In other words, you mean.’ No, that’s not it. There are no other words in which you mean it. This is it.

Jane Hirshfield On Poetry

Jane Hirshfield (February 24, 1953 -) I don’t think poetry is based just on poetry; it is based on a thoroughly lived life. And so I couldn’t just decide I was going to write no matter what; I first had to find out what it means to live.

WS Merwin On Poetry

William Stanley Merwin (September 30, 1927 – March 15, 2019) I think a poem begins out of what you don’t know, and you begin not by having a good idea but by hearing something in the language.

May Sarton On Poetry

May Sarton (May 3, 1912 – July 16, 1995) If I were in solitary confinement, I'd never write another novel, and probably not keep a journal, but I'd write poetry, because poems, you see, are between God and me.

Kay Ryan On Poetry

Kay Ryan (September 21, 1945 -) Poems should leave you feeling freer and not more burdened. I like to think of all good poetry as providing more oxygen into the atmosphere; it just makes it easier to breathe.

Edward Hirsch On Poetry

Edward M Hirsch (January 20, 1950 -) I would like to speak in my poems with what the Romantic poets called ‘the true voice of feeling.’ I believe, as Ezra Pound once said, that when it comes to poetry, ‘only emotion endures.’

Edward Hirsch On Poetry

Edward M Hirsch (January 20, 1950 -) I would like to speak in my poems with what the Romantic poets called ‘the true voice of feeling.’ I believe, as Ezra Pound once said, that when it comes to poetry, ‘only emotion endures.’

Allen Ginsberg On Poetry

Irwin Allen Ginsberg (June 3, 1926 – April 5, 1997) Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It's that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that's what the poet does.

May Swenson On Poetry

May Swenson (May 28, 1913 – December 04, 1989) The best poetry has its roots in the subconscious to a great degree. Youth, naivety, reliance on instinct more than learning and method, a sense of freedom and play, even trust in randomness, is necessary to the making of a poem.  

Linda Pastan On Poetry

Linda Pastan May 27, 1932 -) I often write poems in my head to distract myself during hard times. … Years ago, after a car crash, while I lay waiting for the ambulance, I actually finished a poem I had been working on, determined not to die before I had it right.

May Swenson On Poetry

May Swenson (May 28, 1913 – December 4, 1989) The best poetry has its roots in the subconscious to a great degree. Youth, naivety, reliance on instinct more than learning and method, a sense of freedom and play, even trust in randomness, is necessary to the making of a poem.