10 Great Quotes About Poets, Poetry, and Writing by Donald Hall

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“Mere literary talent is common; what is rare is endurance, the continuing desire to work hard at writing.”

“Words seem like drops of water in a stream that has its own wholeness and its own motion.”

“I don’t know where a poem comes from until after I’ve lived with it a long time. I’ve a notion that a poem comes from absolutely everything that every happened to you.”

“The form of free verse is as binding and as liberating as the form of a rondeau.”

‘To desire to write poems that endure-we undertake such a goal certain of two things: that in all likelihood we will fail, and if we succeed we will never know it.”

“Today when I begin writing I’m aware: something that I don’t understand drives this engine.”

“If the poet wants to be a poet, the poet must force the poet to revise. If the poet doesn’t wish to revise, let the poet abandon poetry and take up stamp-collecting or real estate.”

“Virtually every beginning poet hurts himself by an addiction to adjectives. Verbs are by far the most important things for poems-especially wonderful tough monosyllables like “gasp” and “cry.” Nouns are the next most important. Adjectives tend to be useless.”

“If our goal is to write poetry, the only way we are likely to be any good is to try to be as great as the best.”

“Poetry is what I’ve done my whole life. And every important thing in my life had found itself into poems.”

— Donald Hall

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