“There is danger of forgetting that poetry must include the mind, as well as the emotions . . . The mind is dangerous and must be left in . . . The poet can use the mind in fear and trembling. But he must use it.” (An interview in The Scotsman, Edinburgh, May 1957, speaking about young poets.)
“…writers can learn so much from reading outside their genre”
I’ve been rereading Dickens’s Nicholas Nickleby and thinking about the vigors of his prose—the driving meter of his sentences, their rhetorical balances—both of which have significantly influenced my own poetry. I love the fact that writers can learn so much from reading outside their genre: I know several contemporary novelists who read far more poetry than prose, and Dickens himself was heavily influenced by Shakespeare and other dramatists.
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