Quote Poet Unquote: Contemporary Quotations on Poets and Poetry

Overview

“One of the best-read men in the Western world” is how Poetry Review describes Irish poet-critic Dennis O’Driscoll. Quote Poet Unquote, his compilation of contemporary quotations on all things poetry-related, proves that judgment spot on. The book grew out of O’Driscoll’s column “Pickings and Choosings” for Poetry Ireland Review, and contains nearly two thousand smart sayings obsessively gleaned from six hundred sources—including powerhouse critics, prize-winning poets, world leaders, and newspaper headlines. The...

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Overview

“One of the best-read men in the Western world” is how Poetry Review describes Irish poet-critic Dennis O’Driscoll. Quote Poet Unquote, his compilation of contemporary quotations on all things poetry-related, proves that judgment spot on. The book grew out of O’Driscoll’s column “Pickings and Choosings” for Poetry Ireland Review, and contains nearly two thousand smart sayings obsessively gleaned from six hundred sources—including powerhouse critics, prize-winning poets, world leaders, and newspaper headlines. The voices in this volume are by turns provocative, deadpan, humorous, and inspirational:

“If you dribble past five defenders, it isn’t called sheer prose.”—Tom Leonard

“I do not give the honorific name of ‘poetry’ to the primitive and the unaccomplished.”—Helen Vendler, The New York Times

“I started a PhD in English at the University of Chicago because I loved poetry—which I now realize is like saying I studied vivisection because I loved dogs.”—Michael Donaghy, Verse

Organized by headings as forthright as “What Is It Anyway?” as playful as “Prose and Cons” and “No, Thanks” (on bad poetry), this collection is both a reference work and a supremely entertaining take on the poetry world. Quote Poet Unquote offers incontrovertible evidence—thousands of pieces of it—that poetry, and the passionate discourse it generates, is alive and kicking.

Dennis O’Driscoll, former editor of Poetry Ireland Review, is the author of seven books of poetry and a collection of essays. He lives in Ireland.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

O'Driscoll (Reality Check) began collecting quotes in 1987, when he was editing Poetry Ireland Review. Here, he has edited a collection of about 2000 quotes on the subject of poets and poetry from over 600 sources, divided into more than 60 sections. The quotes are humorous, insightful, insufferable, and profound-it's great fun to see so many points of disagreement over so many aspects of poetry in such a small space-and fall into sections on subject matter, character references, poetry in emotion, U.S. poetry, alcohol and pub talk, and more. These quotes cover the whole range of ideas, opinions, and controversies concerning contemporary poetry and the poetic life, from inspiration to publication to public readings to criticism to prizes. The page containing comments on parsnips, poets, and poetry is not to be missed. A complete book on the art of poetry and all the many things that poetry can be to people; recommended for poetry and literature collections.
—Gene Shaw

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556592706
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Pages: 300
  • Sales rank: 1,410,845
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

What Is It Anyway? 3

Defining Moments 9

Making a Start 18

Inspired Moves 25

Subject Matter 27

Workshops and Class Conflicts 33

Nuts and Bolts 39

Formal or Informal? 45

The Begetters 54

Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know 57

Character References 60

Poetic Recognition 70

Poetic License 74

Call Yourself a Poet? 77

Best Words 80

Marketing the Stuff 88

Profit Motives 91

Poet at Work 93

In Memory 103

The Audience 105

Communals and Loners 109

The Whole Truth 112

Among Women 118

Sex, Love, and Marriage 123

Prose and Cons 133

Visualizing a Poem 142

Only Joking 144

Poetic Drive 147

Readings 149

No, Thanks 157

On the Contrary 161

In and Out of Fashion 165

Youth and Age 167

Pushy Poets 171

Getting into Difficulty 176

What It All Means 186

Poetry in Emotion 188

Word Count 192

Original Angles 195

The Poetry Cure 200

Poetry Politics 208

Making Nothing Happen 217

Making Something Happen 219

Musical Arrangements 223

U.S. Poetry 227

British Poetry 232

Irish Poetry 235

Home and Abroad 238

Prize Poetry 242

In Critical Mood 245

Lost in Translations 249

Anthologies 257

Poetry at War 260

Celebration, Consolation, Lamentation 263

Holy Writ 267

Closed Shop 272

Present, Past, and Future 275

Alcohol and Pub Talk 280

Physical Poetry 282

Labels and Categories 286

Moving On 288

Beyond Words 293

Post-Poetry Tristesse 298

Death by Poetry 301

Index 305

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