When you're a student of poetry, you're lucky if you don't realize how untalented you are until you get a little better. Otherwise, you would just stop.

— Tony Hoagland

The most empowering Tony Hoagland quotes that are simple and will have a huge impact on you

The most prevalent poetic representation of contemporary experience is the mimesis of disorientation by non sequitor.


Peter Hyland's poems are both elegantly wrought and meditatively wild.

They testify to an original, restless intelligence. He can cast his imagination into a woman's dress, the mind of a grasshopper, or into the glass eyeballs of a buffalo head mounted on the wall of a home in suburban Texas to contemplate 'man's tireless ingenuity.'


What I thought was an end turned out to be a middle.

What I thought was a brick wall turned out to be a tunnel. What I thought was an injustice turned out to be a color of the sky.


And I am too knowledgeable now to hurt people imprecisely


These poems possess intelligence, erudition, gravitas and urgency.

Serious and moving in voice and ambition, this passionately lyrical and articulate work reminds me very much of the capacious, fierce and intelligent work of Adrienne Rich.


No matter how you feel you have to act like you are very popular with yourself;

very relaxed and purposeful very unconfused and not like you are walking through the sunshine singing in chains.


There’s Socialism and Communism and Capitalism and there’s Feminism and Hedonism, and there’s Catholicism and Bipedalism and Consumerism, but I think Narcissism is the system that means the most to me.


What we know for sure is that metaphor is the raw uranium of poetry, and that an urge to say that one thing is like something else is one of the earliest markers of the poetic spirit, the nascent poet.


We're all attracted to the perfume of fermenting joy, we've all tried to start a fire, and one day maybe it will blaze up on its own. In the meantime, she is the one today among us most able to bear the idea of her own beauty.


Outside the youth center, between the liquor store and the police station, a little dogwood tree is losing its mind; overflowing with blossomfoam, like a sudsy mug of beer; like a bride ripping off her clothes, dropping snow white petals to the ground in clouds, so Nature’s wastefulness seems quietly obscene. It’s been doing that all week: making beauty, and throwing it away, and making more.


We would give anything for what we have.


Often we ask ourselves to make absolute sense out of what just happens, and in this way, what we are practicing is suffering, which everybody practices, but strangely few of us grow graceful in.


About Tony Hoagland

Quotes 14 sayings
Profession Poet
Birthday November 19, 1953

So much of what I love about poetry lies in the vast possibilities of voice, the spectacular range of idiosyncratic flavors that can be embedded in a particular human voice reporting from the field. One beautiful axis of voice is the one that runs between vulnerability and detachment, between 'It hurts to be alive' and 'I can see a million miles from here.' A good poetic voice can do both at once.

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