Anne Stevenson Quotes

  • Writing in a strict form can surprise you.
  • Poets should ignore most criticism and get on with making poetry.
  • There is far too much literary criticism of the wrong kind. That is why I never could have survived as an academic.
  • A poem might be defined as thinking about feelings - about human feelings and frailties.
  • I did know Ted Hughes and I partly wrote the book to explain to myself and others the complexities of a marriage that was for six years wonderfully productive of poetry and then ended in tragedy.
  • I don't like poetry that just slaps violent words on a canvas, as it were.
  • I think a poet, like a painter, should be a craftsperson.
  • Each word bears its weight, so you have to read my poems quite slowly.
  • I am now seventy, rather glad, really, that I won't live to see the horrors to come in the 21st century.
  • Yes, I do often write poems from the mind, but I hope I don't ignore feelings and emotions.
  • I like rhyme because it is memorable, I like form because having to work to a pattern gives me original ideas.
  • My earlier poems were sadder than my poems are today, perhaps because I wrote them in confusion or when I was unhappy. But I am not a melancholy person, quite the contrary, no one enjoys laughing more than I do.
  • Many varieties of sonnet, of course, have been written over the ages.
  • I have always made my own rules, in poetry as in life - though I have tried of late to cooperate more with my family. I do, however, believe that without order or pattern poetry is useless.
  • I write, or used to write, to explain to myself situations I couldn't otherwise solve or understand. Meditation comes very naturally to me.
  • I'm not really quiet or shy. Ask any of my friends! But I always ground my poetry in life itself. Poetry is an art of language, though, so I am always aware of every word's meaning, or multiple meanings.
  • Sylvia Plath was just a month and a half older than I, and when she committed suicide I was only 30 - and very shocked and sorry. I never knew her personally.
  • I remain loyal to Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert in music and to Shakespeare and Jane Austen in literature.
  • I married a young Englishman in Cambridge in 1955 and have lived in Britain every since.
  • Peter Lucas and I live in Durham but spend a great of time in North Wales, where we have a cottage in the mountains, and in Vermont, USA, with my sister - who is a children's writer married to a poet.
  • Have you ever heard of a pianist who never had to practice - or of an architect who didn't bother to find out why buildings stand up?
  • When everything is for 'fun' nothing is for the good.
  • Blake has always been a favorite, the lyrics, not so much the prophetic books, but I suppose Yeats influenced me more as a young poet, and the American, Robert Frost.
  • I dislike literary jargon and never use it. Criticism has only one function and that is to help readers read and understand literature. It is not a science, it is an aid to art.