James Fenton


Quotations

  • ''The lullaby is the spell whereby the mother attempts to transform herself back from an ogre to a saint.''
    James Fenton (b. 1949), British poet, critic. "Ars Poetica," no. 7, Independent on Sunday (London, March 11, 1990).
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  • ''The writing of a poem is like a child throwing stones into a mineshaft. You compose first, then you listen for the reverberation.''
    James Fenton (b. 1949), British poet, critic. Ars Poetica, no. 22, Independent on Sunday (London, June 24, 1990).
  • ''Imitation, if it is not forgery, is a fine thing. It stems from a generous impulse, and a realistic sense of what can and cannot be done.''
    James Fenton (b. 1949), British poet, critic. "Ars Poetica," no. 47, Independent on Sunday (London, Dec. 16, 1990).
  • ''One does not become a guru by accident.''
    James Fenton (b. 1949), British poet, critic. Times (London, Aug. 9, 1984). Referring to playwright Samuel Beckett.

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God, A Poem

A nasty surprise in a sandwich,
A drawing-pin caught in your sock,
The limpest of shakes from a hand which
You'd thought would be firm as a rock,

A serious mistake in a nightie,
A grave disappointment all round
Is all that you'll get from th'Almighty,
Is all that you'll get underground.

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