I don't like political poetry, and I don't write it. If this question was pointing towards that, I think it is missing the point of the American tradition, which is always apolitical, even when the poetry comes out of politically active writers.

— Diane Wakoski

The most beautiful Diane Wakoski quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening

One, I have a wonderful publisher, Black Sparrow Press;

as long as they exist, they will keep me in print. And they claim they sell very respectable numbers of my books, so I guess, and it's true, every place I go, my books are in libraries and on bookshelves.

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I do not read newspapers. I do not watch television. I am not interested in current events, although I will occasionally discuss them if other people want to discuss them.

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But I don't think that poetry is a good, to use a contemporary word, venue, for current events.

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But I am not political in the current events sense, and I have never wanted anyone to read my poetry that way.

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High and low culture come together in all Post Modern art, and American poetry is not excluded from this.

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Learning to live what you're born with is the process, the involvement, the making of a life.

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I think I'm a very good reader of poetry, but obviously, like everybody, I have a set of criteria for reading poems, and I'm not shy about presenting them, so if people ask for my critical response to a poem, I tell them what works and why, and what doesn't work and why.

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American poetry, like American painting, is always personal with an emphasis on the individuality of the poet.

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American poets celebrate their bodies, very specifically, as Whitman did.

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Still, language is resilient, and poetry when it is pressured simply goes underground.

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Distinctly American poetry is usually written in the context of one's geographic landscape, sometimes out of one's cultural myths, and often with reference to gender and race or ethnic origins.

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Because, in fact, women, feminists, do read my poetry, and they read it often with the power of their political interpretation. I don't care; that's what poetry is supposed to do.

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About Diane Wakoski

Quotes 39 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Poet
Birthday August 3, 1937

I have always wanted what I have now come to call the voice of personal narrative. That has always been the appealing voice in poetry. It started for me lyrically in Shakespeare's sonnets.

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I write in the first person because I have always wanted to make my life more interesting than it was.

3

I'm perfectly happy when I look out at an audience and it's all women.

I always think it's kind of odd, but then, more women than men, I think, read and write poetry.

3

So, I've never been politically correct, even before that term was available to us, and I have really identified with other people who don't want to be read as just a black poet, or just a woman poet, or just someone who represents a cause, an anti-Vietnam war poet.

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American poetry is always about defining oneself individually,claiming one's right to be different and often to break taboos.

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I definitely wish to distinguish American poetry from British or other English language poetry.

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We are authors, all of us, concerned with beginning, with making, with sources and substance.

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I had been dreaming a complicated dream about helping poets revise their poems, so that each ending would open like a flower. I was not arguing, but engaged in a rousing discussion.

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PC stuff just lowers the general acceptance of good work and replaces it with bogus poetry that celebrates values that in themselves are probably quite worthy.

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Poetry is the art of saying what you mean but disguising it.

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What line breaks add to prose prosody is a connection between eye and ear which emphasizes the nature of the language by ... creating units of intent and emphasis, and by contouring the meloding pitch changes in the narrative-line.

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Poems come from incomplete knowledge.

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Other people have noticed more of an evolution than I have and so I'll try to tell you where I'm coming from and also relate it to what I think other people perceive.

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I'm passing on a tradition of which I am part.

There's a long line of poets who went before me, and I'm another one, and I'm hoping to pass that on to other younger, or newer, poets than myself.

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I think one of the things that language poets are very involved with is getting away from conventional ideas of beauty, because those ideas contain a certain attitude toward women, certain attitudes toward sex, certain attitudes toward race, etc.

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My poems are almost all written as Diane.

I don't have any problems with that, and if other women choose to identify with this, I think that's terrific.

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From reading a previous answer, you know that I consider all those aspects to be part of American cultural myth and thus they figure into good American poetry, whether the poet is aware of what he is doing or not.

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Sometimes the archaism of the language when it's spoken is why we are all in love with the Irish today.

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I am not political as a person.

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I think that great poetry is the most interesting and complex use of the poet's language at that point in history, and so it's even more exciting when you read a poet like Yeats, almost 100 years old now, and you think that perhaps no one can really top that.

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The best young writers are convinced they need blurbs from famous writers before an editor will even read the first page of a manuscript. If this is true, then the editorial system that prevails today stinks. And let's start reforming it.

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Innocence is suffering and the loss of that innocence is something to fear.

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Poetry is one of the essential structures of civilization - carrying myth, ritual, 'tales of the tribe' and the essence of language.

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I think that's what poetry does. It allows people to come together and identify with a common thing that is outside of themselves, but which they identify with from the interior.

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Poems reveal secrets when they are analyzed.

The poet's pleasure in finding ingenious ways to enclose her secrets should be matched by the reader's pleasure in unlocking and revealing these secrets.

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There are rituals not structures for being a poet, drinking too much, taking too many drugs, being a lady chaser, having your nervous breakdown, being irresponsible about money.

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