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by Sydney Lancaster

A book of poems is the chronicle of a haunting

There’s a sense of virtuosity without necessity in many contemporary poems

Experiment is from the surface; innovation from the depths

Poetry is not about making a living – it’s about making a life

Poets: word-musicians

Poetry must make sensory what has become automatic anomie

Poetry is the rhythmical record of a race

Poetry is a wildness around the garden of prose

Poetry is irreducible to the bottom line

The primary known of poetry is the unknown

Poetry is an undeniable intimacy with language

Poetry has lost its secret toil, the sweat of strange silences

Poems: don’t dissect them, spelunk them!

Poetry should be a waking pill for the spirit and the senses

Lyrics: melody-embedders

It is the pace, the cadence, that (literally) counts in a poem

Poetry: words that chant afterwards in the blood

Form: coherence that transcends the age’s chaos

Poet: a person who is led around their world by a rhythm

A poet is someone who refuses estrangement from the world

Poetry: the next best thing to silence

You cannot teach the writing of poetry, you can only teach a writing

of poetry, an act that often leads to cliquism, homogeneity, staleness and,

at worst, self-censorship.

The poet’s three T’s: texture (diction), tempo (rhythm) and intensity (form)

All poems are elegies for childhood

The poet thrives on an abundance of nothingness

The poet transfigures echoes

Poetry: moving brutality

A poet creates most potently in an environment of nostalgia and exile

The poet: unformed and continuously arriving

Poetry elaborates out of ghosts

Poets are scavengers of the imagination

Poetry: sex between the psyche and spirit

Poetry: the ear’s vision

by Sydney Lancaster