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- The lesson is that dying men must groan;
And poets groan in rhymes that please the ear.
- Poem Don't let's spoil it all, I thought that we were going to be such good friends.
- Poetry is to prose as dancing is to walking.
- Talk on BBC Radio, 13 January 1976
- Quoted in "The Penguin Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Quotations", J M & M J Cohen (1996) p. 389 ISBN 0-14-051165-2
- This book — amber-clear, cool and with a good head — deserves a thoughtful swig even from people who never drink.
- How much of our literature, our political life, our friendships and love affairs, depend on being able to talk peacefully in a bar!