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John Barton Quotes

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Some readers allow their prejudices to blind them. A good reader knows how to disregard inappropriate responses.

Sometimes poetry is inspired by the conversation entered into by reading other poems.

The community of poets I belong to is not as close as it used to be, if only for the fact that our lives have become busier: jobs, children, and the like.

The experiment of the poem is mostly intuitive. I write the first draft, pulling in the various elements that interest me, in the hope that their being combined will lead to some kind of insight.

The poet must decide not to impose his feelings in order to write without sentimentality.

The point of an experiment is not to arrive at a predetermined end point, to prove or disprove anything, but to deliver a poem that reveals much about the process taken.

The reader's challenge is to replicate the experiment by reading the poem and to draw their own conclusions.

To me many short poems read and write like beginnings that simply whet my appetite; I want to get over that.

We are comfortable with the fact that we cannot know personally what happened in the world before we were born, yet we are uncomfortable with the notion that we will stop engaging with time at some point in the future.

Who is the ideal reader? God only knows.

Writing can sometimes be exploitative. I like to take a few steps of remove in order to respect the privacy of the subject. If readers make the link, they have engaged with the poem.

You can never step into the same book twice, because you are different each time you read it.

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