Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Poet Laureate of Missouri Said:

Walter Bargen is the Poet Laureate of Missouri, the first one ever appointed. Notes taken during his talk to the St. Louis Writers Guild preserved some of the intriguing things he said:
  • "The role of the writer in society is to keep us awake."
  • "Poetry is like music; talking about it is not experiencing it."
  • "Each first line [of a poem] is an argument for the poem's existence." For example: "About suffering they were never wrong, the old masters. . ." and "You don't remember the hanging, but you do. . ."
  • "It's rhythm that marches your reader through the poem."
  • "You know you're really writing well when you're surprising yourself."
Also in the notes, perhaps not a direct quotation: "IDEA: read poetry to stone, birds, and trees."

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