A white noise app wouldn't work for me - I would be too distracted by the non-white noise noises I could still hear, even more distracted than i would otherwise be. So I have to just accept the regular noises.

— Shane McCrae

The most vibrant Shane McCrae quotes that will transform you to a better person

I hope I can write toward my interests.

But poets should be afraid of too fluidly responding to what they're interested in.

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I just can't write and listen to music at the same time.

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I don't know that I find either aspect of Jesus more interesting than the other, although maybe I think about the God one more.

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I had/have a habit of sending books out before they're ready.

And then I edit with almost absurd intensity. But I've done about a book a year.

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I do try to incorporate particular rhythmic and generally sonic motifs I discover in music as such, and if one thinks of language in a narrow sense, that, perhaps, suggests a possibility for a rhythmic sensibility that enters poetry from outside of language.

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I believe rhythmic sensibility is always a product and extension of language, defined broadly, among other things. But it is an immediate product and extension - no time elapses between the exposure to language and the creation of rhythmic sensibility.

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I wanted to be a composer for a while, and for a while, and maybe still, I found writing music much easier than writing poetry. So maybe my brain clings to it.

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I do believe in Jesus as wholly God and wholly human, and I believe the human part was human.

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There's no such thing as an animal too big too kill, AND we're cornered by such animals every day.

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I think that the casual reader and the lyric and confession are trickily tied up together. I mean often when I read my students' poems my first impulse is to say, "O, the subject of this pronoun, this 'I,' is whatever kid wrote this poem." The audience for lyric poems is "confessionalized" to some extent. And I think this audience tends to find long narrative poems, for instance, kind of bewildering.

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If I can quote myself, I explained whatever it is I'm doing once for No Tell Motel, and I still think it's the clearest I've ever been about this: "I don't write free verse poems - mostly because I can't. But I am interested in the musical effects achievable with free verse."

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I love to read long books. I enjoy experiencing that extension. But it's not something I feel comfortable with and not something I think I can gain comfort with by practice. It was a real struggle for me while writing memoir to get past three pages or so. In poems, I can write long poems. But length in prose: no.

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About Shane McCrae

Quotes 24 sayings
Profession Rapper
Birthday September 22, 1975

People get anxious about dividing sorts of poetry, say Confessionalism from political poetry. But Confessionalism is very much an expression of racial privilege and of class privilege. I don't think it's always a blind expression of these privileges but it does have its genesis in them, in the politics of them.

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I actually can't listen to music and write poetry at the same time, but I do kind of think about the music I've been listening to when I write.

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That's a fairly Wordsworthian way to look at things! But yeah, actually - part of the poet's work, I think, is to maintain or reintroduce the imaginative capacity of their earlier self while nonetheless maturing. And I do think the more successful the poet is at this particular thing, the greater their achievement as a poet.

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I like having a phrase lying around to get poems started. It's like having a key.

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I think about the body kind of all the time, being as how I'm really uncomfortable in mine.

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Confessionalism relates to writers of color.

I think confessional poetry is in its way very Catholic, capital C. One of the formative ideas of Confessionalism, beyond psychoanalysis, is a very actual fall from grace. And, at least in America, people of color never occupy that position of grace the way that white people do. So I think that in some very actual ways the confessional mode, strictly speaking, is not possible for non-white writers.

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I was just thinking about how my grandparents, who raised me, would be considered "white trash," whatever that means - mostly for being racists, I'd say. And how, as a child, I wanted to be like them, and identified with them culturally.

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I think I cause a lot of headaches for editors - it's impossible to keep up with the ridiculous amount of changes I make.

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I'm always glad that other people are way smarter about my poems than I am.

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I learned to write with my desk in the living room, next to the TV.

But mostly in my head, and I try to be able to do it under any circumstances.

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I think that the moment we're living in offers the best opportunity we've had in a long time in that a lot of things having to do with identity politics are being talked about in poems. The only problem there is that a lot of the time these are being talked about in confessional modes.

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