15 January 2009


I am an occasional not a frequent reader of poetry. From the pile of assorted books by my bedside, I'm more likely to grab a novel than anything else--and that's only when I've finished the Guardian review section. But ... the lines I treasure from poems resonate in a way most other writing doesn't. Before I start copying a few favorites into this blog, I'm going to use today's post as a dumping ground for quotations I've come across about rather than from this quicksilver form of language. As I go through my commonplace journals, I'll return with other "gems" I can't find at the moment.

We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.
W.B. Yeats, “Anima Hominis,” Essays (1924)

Reading poetry in translation is like looking at embroidery from the back.
Ian Jack, Guardian 22.10.05, quoting a Tagore enthusiast he met in Kolkata when it was still Calcutta

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