norman maccaig quotes

Well, I love fishing. I wouldn't kill a fly myself but I've no hesitation in killing a fish. A lot of men are like that. No bother. Out you come. Thump. And that's not the only reason.

When I was a teacher, teachers would come into my classroom and admire my desk on which lay nothing whatever, whereas theirs were heaped with papers and books.

And in a way, that's been a help to me, because I take great passions for a particular poet - sometimes it lasts for many years, sometimes only for a while. This happens to everybody.

All those authors there, most of whom of course I've never met. That's the poetry side, that's the prose side, that's the fishing and miscellaneous behind me. You get an affection for books that you've enjoyed.

However, I learned something. I thought that if the young person, the student, has poetry in him or her, to offer them help is like offering a propeller to a bird.

It's like breathing in and out to me. It's like having a conversation with someone who isn't there. Because it has to be addressed to somebody - not a particular person, or very rarely.

There are some friends you don't meet for twenty years and when you meet them again it's as if no twenty years has happened - you're lucky when that happens. I feel the same about books.

In fact a lot of them I think are absolute baloney. Those Charles Olsens and people like that. At first I was interested in seeing what they were up to, what they were doing, why they were doing it. They never moved me in the way that one is moved by true poetry.

And some poets are far better read off the page because they're very bad speakers. I'm thinking of one in particular whom I won't name, a good poet, and he reads in such a dry, boring way, your eyes start drooping.

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