I think there’s been a great denial of the kinds of poets and poetries that could speak to a lot more people. Poetry has been kind of hoarded inside the schools, inside the universities. The activity of writing about poems and poetry--the activity of making it available and accessible--became the property of scholars and academics and became dependent on a certain kind of academic training, education, class background.
Women’s studies and feminism have always been attacked. I think it was in 1970 that I remember seeing an article in Harper’s called "Requiem for the Women’s Movement," when the women’s movement was just beginning to show its face. Its death is being constantly announced. But it’s an unquenchable and unkillable movement that has come and gone or come and submerged throughout the world in many different places in many different times. At this point, I think we live in an era of such global communications that that cannot happen again.
If you had to point to one thing that made it less likely that the Red Sox would win the World Series, I would say it was those people that go to Fenway Park to watch the games. And then the media around it.
We have deferred to food companies the responsibility for ensuring that a good nutritional balance emerges. Voluntary guidelines and piecemeal nutrition initiatives have failed to create a system with the right signals, and the odds remain stacked against the achievement of a healthy, balanced diet.
It doesn't seem right to weigh poems like cabbage or fish, but that is precisely what the final grueling work of an anthologist becomes. And worse: Each poetrymonger applies his own rate, so the crucial question of "Who matters?" is skewed by fees that range from modest to outrageous and don't necessarily correlate to literary significance and artistic influence.
~ Rita Dove from "Introduction" to The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry ~
Everyone should consider his body as a priceless gift from one whom he loves above all, a marvelous work of art, of indescribable beauty, and mystery beyond human conception, and so delicate that a word, a breath, a look, nay, a thought may injure it.
No one expects a man to make a chair without first learning how, but there is a popular impression that the poet is born, not made, and that his verses burst from his overflowing heart of themselves. As a matter of fact, the poet must learn his trade in the same manner, and with the same painstaking care, as the cabinet-maker. His heart may overflow with high thoughts and sparkling fancies, but if he cannot convey them to his reader by means of the written word he has no claim to be considered a poet.