10 Great Quotes About Poets, Poetry, and Writing by Denise Duhamel

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“In almost every book I’ve written, there is a reference to a movie – legendary films, actors and actresses, and forgotten made-for-TV movies. The leaps poems make are not unlike the cuts in a film. The miniature and avant-garde prose poets have perhaps the most obvious ties to film, as a prose poem in its shape is not unlike a movie screen.”

“I believe it’s impossible to write good poetry without reading. Reading poetry goes straight to my psyche and makes me want to write. I meet the muse in the poems of others and invite her to my poems. I see over and over again, in different ways, what is possible, how the perimeters of poetry are expanding and making way for new forms.”

“What has stayed true in my life as a writer is my dedication to writing – I try to write every day, no matter what – and the joy that writing has given me.”

“The “biggest” poems I ever made are based on the psychological principal of the “Johari Window:” what the self freely shares with others; what the self hides from others; what others hide from the self; and what is unknown to the self and others.

“Writing is performative – and while, yes, the words in essence will be there “forever,” poems are often about ecstatic moments rather than trying to pin down a particular truth of an event.”

“The “truth” is the poem itself. Just because someone writes a poem about a feeling she has does not mean that the feeling will stay forever. The truth of the emotion of the poem remains, even if the particular truth of the poet changes.”

“I don’t know if there are topics that I unconsciously avoid, but as soon as they pop up in my writing, I try to take on those topics, whether or not I publish the poems.”

“Over the years, I became more and more interested in the forms and techniques in which things could be said.”

“My advice to my younger self would have been, ‘Chill. Concentrate on the poems. Everything else will work itself out.’ “

“I know writers for whom the act of writing is a necessary chore. They suffer to write great work. I am very lucky that for me writing is a delight.”

—Denise Duhamel