April 12, 2014

Billy Collins on poetry

Some thoughts by Billy Collins on poetry
  • The mind can be trained to relieve itself on paper.
  • You come by your style by learning what to leave out. At first you tend to overwrite—embellishment instead of insight. You either continue to write puerile bilge, or you change.
  • In the process of simplifying oneself, one often discovers the thing called voice.
  • High school is the place where poetry goes to die.
  • A sentence starts out like a lone traveller heading into a blizzard at midnight, tilting into the wind, one arm shielding his face, the tails of his thin coat flapping behind him.
  • Poetry is my cheap means of transportation. By the end of the poem the reader should be in a different place from where he started. I would like him to be slightly disoriented at the end, like I drove him outside of town at night and dropped him off in a cornfield.
  • The first line is the DNA of the poem; the rest of the poem is constructed out of that first line.
  • A lot of it has to do with tone because tone is the key signature for the poem. The basis of trust for a reader used to be meter and end-rhyme.
  • A motto I’ve adopted is, if at first you don’t succeed, hide all evidence that you ever tried.
via writers-write-creative-blog.posthaven.com







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