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Saturday, January 26, 2008

112. Howard Nemerov Quotes

From http://www.brainyquote.com/

Howard Nemerov Quotes

American Poet Quotes
Date of Birth: February 29, 1920
Date of Death: July 5, 1991

A lot happens by accident in poetry.

A teacher is a person who never says anything once.

For a Jewish Puritan of the middle class, the novel is serious, the novel is work, the novel is conscientious application why, the novel is practically the retail business all over again.

History is one of those marvelous and necessary illusions we have to deal with. It's one of the ways of dealing with our world with impossible generalities which we couldn't live without.

I am not at all clear what free verse is anymore. That's one of the things you learn not to know.

I like all my children, even the squat and ugly ones.

I liked the kid who wrote me that he had to do a term paper on a modern poet and he was doing me because, though they say you have to read poems twice, he found he could handle mine in one try.

I think there was a revolution in poetry, associated chiefly with Eliot and Pound; but maybe it is of the nature of revolutions or of the nature of history that their innovations should later come to look trivial or indistinguishable from technical tricks.

I think there's one thing which distinguishes our art - we don't consider. We don't think. We write a little verse because it comes to us.

I've never read a political poem that's accomplished anything. Poetry makes things happen, but rarely what the poet wants.

I've thought of the last line of some poems for years and tried them out, It wouldn't work because the last line was much too beautiful for the poem.

It may be said that poems are in one way like icebergs: only about a third of their bulk appears above the surface of the page.

Language is remarkable, except under the extreme constraints of mathematics and logic, it never can talk only about what it's supposed to talk about but is always spreading around.

Occasionally a student writer comes up with something really beautiful and moving, and you won't know for years if it was an accident or the first burst of something wonderful.

Once in awhile you have a thought, and you rhyme it.

Robert Frost had always said you mustn't think of the last line first, or it's only a fake poem, not a real one. I'm inclined to agree.

Shakespeare tells the same stories over and over in so many guises that it takes a long time before you notice.

The nice thing about the Bible is it doesn't give you too many facts. Two an a half lines and it tells you the whole story and that leaves you a great deal of freedom to elaborate on how it might have happened.

The secrets of success are a good wife and a steady job. My wife told me.

The spirit world doesn't admit to communicating with me, so it's fairly even.

We're not in love with Literature all the time - especially when you have to teach it every day.

Write what you know. That should leave you with a lot of free time.

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