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Rita Dove Quotes


An American poet and author.
(1952 - )

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All of us have moments in our childhood where we come alive for the first time. And we go back to those moments and think, This is when I became myself.
[Childhood]
 

Being Poet Laureate made me realize I was capable of a larger voice. There is a more public utterance I can make as a poet.
 

Being true to yourself really means being true to all the complexities of the human spirit.
 

For many years, I thought a poem was a whisper overheard, not an aria heard.
 

For years, I had heard about the lack of interest in literature in the U.S. and I had complained about it. I failed to understand how people could fail to be moved by art.
 

Going to the library was the one place we got to go without asking for permission. And they let us choose what we wanted to read. It was a feeling of having a book be mine entirely.
 

Have you ever heard a good joke? If you've ever heard someone just right, with the right pacing, then you're already on the way to poetry. It's about using words in very precise ways and using gesture.
 

I believe people may have a predisposition for artistic creativity. It doesn't mean they're going to make it.
 

I carry a notebook with me everywhere. But that's only the first step.
 

I didn't know writers could be real live people, because I never knew any writers.
 

I have a high guilt quotient. A poem can go through as many as 50 or 60 drafts. It can take from a day to two years-or longer.
 

I keep the drafts of each poem in color-coded folders. I pick up the folders according to how I feel about that color that day.
 

I loved to read, but I always thought that the dream was too far away. The person who had written the book was a god, it wasn't a person.
 

I loved to write when I was a child. I wrote, but I always thought it was something that you did as a child, then you put away childish things.
 

I prefer to explore the most intimate moments, the smaller, crystallized details we all hinge our lives on.
 

I see a resurgence of interest in poetry. I am less optimistic about the prospects for the arts when it comes to federal funding.
 

I think children have talent and insight, but it gets beaten out of them.
 

I think reading Shakespeare's plays when I was young was extremely important. He had the ability to make utter strangers come alive.
 

I thought, after the Pulitzer, at least nothing will surprise me quite that much in my life. And another one happened. It was quite amazing.
 

I try to show what it is about language and music that enthralls, because I think those are the two elements of poetry.
 


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