Theodore Roethke

(1908 - 1963 / Michigan / United States)

various quotes from On Poetry and Craft: Selected Prose of Theodore Roethke


The poem, even a short time after being written,
seems no miracle; unwritten, it seems
something beyond the capacity of the gods.

*

Art is the means we have of undoing the damage of
haste. It's what everything else isn't.

*

You can't make poetry simply by avoiding clichés.

*

There's a point where plainness is no longer a virtue,
when it becomes excessively bald, wrenched.

*

You must believe: a poem is a holy thing -- a good poem,
that is.

Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

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