10 Great Quotes About Poets, Poetry, and Writing by Dylan Thomas

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“A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone’s knowledge of himself and the world around him.”

“What I like to do is treat words as a craftsman does his wood or stone or what-have-you, to hew, carve, mold, coil, polish, and plane them into patterns, sequences, sculptures, fugues of sound expressing some lyrical impulse, some spiritual doubt or conviction, some dimly realized truth I must try to reach and realize.”

“The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps… so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash or thunder in.”

“I like to think of poetry as statements made on the way to the grave.”

“If you want a definition of poetry, say: Poetry is what makes me laugh or cry or yawn, what makes my toenails twinkle, what makes me want to do this or that or nothing and let it go at that.”

“Poetry is the rhythmic, inevitably narrative, movement from an overclothed blindness to a naked vision that depends in its intensity on the strength of the labour put into the creation of the poetry.”

“Reading one’s own poems aloud is letting the cat out of the bag. You may have always suspected bits of a poem to be overweighted, overviolent, or daft, and then, suddenly, with the poet’s tongue around them, your suspicion is made certain.”

“The best poem is that whose worked-upon unmagical passages come closest, in texture and intensity, to those moments of magical accident.”

“I make one image—though ‘make’ is not the right word; I let, perhaps, an image be ‘made’ emotionally in me and then apply to it what intellectual & critical forces I possess—let it breed another, let that image contradict the first, make, of the third image bred out of the other two together, a fourth contradictory image, and let them all, within my imposed formal limits, conflict.”

“Don’t be too harsh to these poems until they’re typed. I always think typescript lends some sort of certainty: at least, if the things are bad then, they appear to be bad with conviction”

— Dylan Thomas

 

3 thoughts on “10 Great Quotes About Poets, Poetry, and Writing by Dylan Thomas

  1. Thank you for these great quotes, Paul, I particularly like the one about the poet leaving gaps and holes on their poetry … Poetry isn’t the whole story, and it leaves plenty of room for others to climb in and fly with the words …

    Liked by 1 person

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