"I'm still young enough to think that death is something that happens to other people."
"People can't put on an opera, but they can write a poem. It's accessible art."
"The ordinary can be absolutely miraculous."
"Poets, I dare you to choose, for one night, the ambrosia over the ashes"
"Anyway, it's liberating when you get to a point in a poem where you can legitimately deviate from the form, and I like the tension that can exist between expectation and execution. Like there's something a little more idiosyncratic or individual going on."
[On an inspirational teacher:] "I wrote about how my mum put sixpence in the Christmas pudding - which wasn't true - and he didn't put it on the wall. I thought he'd rumbled me, but he came up to me later and put his arm round me and said 'By the way, Simon, that was a really good poem', and I thought, 'Well, why didn't you put it on the fucking wall, then?' And I've wondered since then if I've just been pursuing a revenge career. Every time I finish a piece I think, 'Put that on your wall!'"