Monday, May 11, 2009

A Little Poetic Inspiration

Many of my shortest and seemingly simple poems took years to get right. I tinker with most of my poems even after publication. I expect to be revising in my coffin as it is being lowered into the ground. Charles Simic

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 me and God. May Sarton

You must let your poems ride their luck
On the back of the sharp morning air
Touched with the fragrance of mint and thyme
And everything else is literature.
Paul Verlaine


Pressin On said...

i like what Sarton says=wholly agree.

John B. Burroughs said...

Great quotations - much food for thought! The one that feels truest for me is Charles Simic's. I've been revising some of my poems for 20 years. Even when I thought I finally had them as "perfect" as I thought they could be, there have been times when the very moment after I finally published them, put them on my blog, whatever, I decided there was yet another change I could make to give the poem more strength or truth. Some I let sit for ten years before feeling the need to tinker. Maybe this need to revise stems from the fact that we're all (hopefully) constantly evolving. A perfect poem to me in 1989 is different from a perfect poem for me in 1997. And the older I get, the more inclined I am to believe no poem is or can ever be perfect. Or it is only as perfect as we believe it to be - in which case, all poems have a pefection potential. Maybe the best we can hope for is a series of successively nearer and nearer approximations.... Paul Valéry said. "A poem is never finished, only abandoned." But my opinion, like everything else, seems to still be evolving.


The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau