Wednesday, May 22, 2013


David Letterman isn’t the only one with a top-10 list.  I’ve looked at writers speaking about writing and here are my ten favorite quotes:

“It’s silly to suggest the writing of poetry as something ethereal, as a sort of soul-crashing emotional experience that wrings you.  I have no fancy ideas about poetry.  It doesn’t come to you on the wings of a dove.  It’s something you work hard at.”
Louise Bogan

“Poets are like baseball pitchers.  Both have their moments.  The intervals are the tough things.”
Robert Frost

“Any writer overwhelmingly honest about pleasing himself is almost sure to please others.”
Marianne Moore

“Writers, if they are worthy of that jealous designation, do not write for other writers.  They write to give reality to experience.”
Archibald Macleish

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

“The difference between the right word and the nearly right word is the same as that between lightning and the lightning bug.”
Mark Twain

“Not gods, nor men, nor even booksellers have put up with poets being second-rate.”

“A good title should be like a good metaphor: It should intrigue without being too baffling or too obvious.” 
Walker Percy

“You don’t have to suffer to be a poet.  Adolescence is enough suffering for anyone.”
John Ciardi

“I’ve had it with those cheap sons of bitches who claim they love poetry but never buy a book.”
Kenneth Rexroth

Do you have a favorite quote from a writer on the subject of writing?


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Cat said...

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Enjoy your day