A Poet on Poetry

I have been composing for over 30 years; my poems normally begin with a phrase or sentence in my head that I like the feel of.  I explore feelings, reactions to people, places, things, events. I have always found it to be cathartic and the ideal creative tool for a writer to make every word count.

Settled back home in Edinburgh, I decided to do some statistics; prior to moving to Spain I wrote 9 poems, until the period of my arrival in September 1985 to Easter 1988, I had composed 15.  From Easter 88 to May 2001 I wrote only 9 poems though I did work on educational material. The period from May 2001, has been my most prolific.  In 2011, I undertook the task that I has set myself many years ago to have all my poetry bilingual. This was fascinating and enlightening; I saw new meanings, better words, nudged nuances, from the prism of a different language. I compose in both English and Spanish.

Contrary to what people believe, writers don’t compose when we are really down, we do it on the way up. Research shows that creative people have personalities that function outside normal parameters with wider ranges of moods. However, the very same creativity is the greatest resource; functioning as therapy to push us forward to happiness and understanding, especially that of our feelings, a great key to personal peace. It is a topic of contemporary psychological research; needless to say the great poets have always been aware of this. I add my favourite quotes on Poetry.

My Favourite Quotes On Poetry 

Robert Graves

The nucleus of every poem,worthy of the name, is rhythmically formed in the Poet’s mind, during a trance.  Like suspension of his horned habits of thought, by the supra logical reconciliation of conflicting emotional ideas.  The poet learns to induce the trance in self-protection whenever he feels unable to resolve an emotional conflict by simple logic.

TS Eliot Little Gidding

For last years Voice belongs to last years language,

And next years words await another voice

the sentence that is right

where every word is at home

taking its place to support the others

the word neither different nor ostentatious

an easy commerce of the old and the new

the common word exact without vulgarity

the formed word precise but not pedantic

the complete consort dancing together.

Brook Noel & Pamela D. Blair “I Wasn’t Ready To Say Goodbye.”

Poetry creates a bridge of feelings between the material world and the world of creativity and spirit. Poets by definition, get to the raw feelings behind the masks we wear.

Thomas Burn

Poetry is thoughts that breathe and words that burn.

Leonardo da Vinci

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt,
and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen

Ryan Van Winkle

I found poetry more honest: there’s an emotional honesty to a poem that I couldn’t get at using journalism. Poetry felt a lot more freeing and the resonance of feeling is there.

Rudyard Kipling.

Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind

E.M. Forster.

A poem is true if it hangs together. Information points to something else. A poem points to nothing but itself.


Imagination is more important than knowledge.  Knowledge is limited while imagination enriches the world.

Cervantes Miguel “The Little Gypsy Girl”

One must use poetry like a precious jewel, whose owner does not wear it every day or show it off to everybody all the time, but when it is appropriate and right to display.

P D James

Poetry is like religion: sometimes the vision is immediate and almost frightening in its intensity. Sometimes it is reached with difficulty, giving imitation only, and those confused and partial.


2 Responses to A Poet on Poetry

  1. Pingback: A Poet on Poetry | julie ann thomason

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