10 Great Quotes About Poetry and Writing By Pattiann Rogers

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“Often when I write poetry I don’t quite know what I’m saying myself. I mean, I can’t restate the poem. The meaning of the poem is the poem.”

“I think parts of my soul have been saved by my writing, not in the sense of escaping death, but escaping the death of the moment, perhaps.”

“I see my poems as interlinked. No poem gives an answer. It may offer other questions, it may instigate other questions that then become poems.”

“Poetry is very playful with language. I think all poetry, at its heart, is playful. It’s doing unusual and playful things with the language, stirring it up. And prose is not doing that. Primarily it’s not attempting to do that.”

“I have thought for many years that the audience any creative writer imagines has a great effect on what gets written.”

“I’ve spent much of my life being attuned to watching for an image or a phrase that can trigger what might be a poem – could become a poem.”

“I approach writing a poem in a much different state than when I am writing prose. It’s almost as if I were working in a different language when I’m writing poetry. The words – what they are and what they can become – the possibilities of the words are vastly expanded for me when I’m writing a poem.”

“In poetry I can let the language go, allow an image that seems out of place to enter and see what happens, always listening to the music that’s being created, just like the world around us, never predictable, always shifting and intertwining, reflecting and echoing itself.”

“Poetry doesn’t function by saying things straightforwardly because the language is too imprecise, too limited often, to address the underlying subject of most poems.”

“From the beginning, I felt that I didn’t ever want to leave the impression that the process of writing a poem is totally mysterious. I couldn’t explain everything that went on in the creation of a poem, but I could try to explain as much as I knew. I thought readers deserved that. I didn’t want to set myself apart as being someone special.”

—Pattiann Rogers