TAGGED FOR THE QUOTE MEME: Both Nick and Helen tagged me for a meme on finding 10 quotes from poets that jive with my philosophy on writing. I accepted that challenge and here's what I came up with:

I discovered metaphorical thinking on my own. I knew that in my mind dishes ran away with spoons, and pretty much all other ways of using words were more boring and less true.
-- Stan Rice

The day I became a poet was a sunny day of no particular ominousness. I was walking across the football field, not because I was sports-minded or had plans to smoke a cigarette behind the field house – the only other reason for going there – but because this was my normal way home from school. I was scuttling along in my usual furtive way, suspecting no ill, when a large invisible thumb descended from the sky and pressed down on the top of my head. A poem formed. It was quite a gloomy poem: the poems of the young usually are. It was a gift, this poem – a gift from an anonymous donor, and, as such, both exciting and sinister at the same time. I suspect this is the way all poets begin writing poetry, only they don’t want to admit it, so they make up more rational explanations. But this is the true explanation, and I defy anyone to disprove it. -- Margaret Atwood (pictured)

Writing saved me from the sin and inconvenience of violence. -- Alice Walker

When I’m reading a poem--let’s say Gwendolyn Brooks, or Seamus Heaney--I’m not looking for ideas so much as desiring to experience, in the imagination, a life, an image of a life. -- Sharon Olds

Sometimes, we write in order to get to a safer place in our heads. We can do that not only for ourselves, but for other people. -- Patricia Smith

The poem always leads me. Like a good dance partner I feel for the slight pressure at the small of the back, a shifting of weight. I move where the poem wants me to move. But that’s after the poem has actually asked me to dance. -- Dorianne Laux

The moment of change is the only poem. -- Adrienne Rich

The blood jet is poetry and there is no stopping it. -- Sylvia Plath

Devoting an evening trying to write something meaningful is probably a better way to spend one's time than watching Law & Order reruns. -- Ted Kooser

Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard. -- Anne Sexton

I'm tagging Dustin, Lisa and Cherryl! And also please visit the VRZHU Press blog where I have a new essay, Finding Poetry in Film.

Comments

DeadMule said…
Hi Collin, I especially like the Margaret Atwood and Anne Sexton quotes. Thanks for playing along.
Helen
Ivy said…
Great essay, Collin! :-)
Peter said…
Terrific essay, Collin.
It makes me want to see Wings of Desire again, and Yes and Waiting for the Moon for the first time.

VRZHU Press looks very well-thought out. Is it a POD press?
Dustin said…
I love Atwood's comment. Love it.

Laux is great-- she was at Palm Beach this year. She's definitely a "spit fire," and I freaking love that. I'm interviewing her in a couple of months.
Collin said…
Thanks for the compliments everyone.

Peter, yes VRZHU uses Lulu as its publisher using the same model Reb Livingston does for No Tell Books. I just got the first VRZHU title -- Kim Roberts "The Kimnama" -- and it is gorgeous. Lulu does beautiful printing.
Nick said…
Loved the Atwood, Smith & Sexton quotes:
Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard. Indeed!

Thanks for posting these.
Enjoyed the quotations, Collin.

Especially liked your film essay - the divided city and Wenders' work in particular.
Arlene said…
love the essay, collin! and congrats on the in posse poems — while i've only been a body part, you've gotten all over the body. impressive writing!

terrific list, too! adore the atwood quote... and kooser is a man after my own heart.

a.
Anonymous said…
Lisa Allender saying I see you tagged me..."The blood jet is poetry, and there is no stopping it." Yep, Sylvia Plath nails it...I have had those words in my head since I was a teenager....I'll post the other nine quotes that reflect my own philosophy, soon.
Keep up the superb work, Coll...
and hey! we still gotta meet here at mi casa, so you can help me become better at POSTING at my own Blog--especially since I wanna post a coupla videos, etc...!!
KATE EVANS said…
You are a wise, wise man to feature so many WOMEN in your list. :)

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