Michael Schmidt (poet)
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Lives of the Poets, Phoenix, 1988
- Poetry is a language with a shape
- We read with our ears
- What matters in poetry is form, how words work together, the sounds and silences their combinations make. The ordered effects they produce on the attentive hearer.
- A living poem can energise another poem at five hundred years distance, or across the other side of the world.
Reading Modern Poetry, London, 1989
- Poetry is a collaborative art, and yet—as it is being created—the most solitary and 'individual' of activities.
- Poetry is a process, a form of discovery, which if it serves a cause, transcends it.
The Great Modern Poets, London, 2006
- Prose and poetry are different in construction. You can lie back and read prose, and you can read it fast. Poetry on the other hand, requires a different kind of attention and concentration … the effect it has on the ear and the imagination.
- Prose uses the medium of language whilst poetry serves language and explores it.
- The reader does not need a technical vocabulary to read poetry, only a voice in the head or out loud which can deliver the sounds.
- In poetry much of the sense and most of the pleasure resides in the sounds the poem make.