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John Barton QUOTES / QUOTATIONS
A literary journal is intended to connect writer with reader; the role of the editor is to mediate.
Quotation of John Barton
An experienced reader uses the poem as an agent of inquiry. This makes poetry very exciting, unstable, and interactive.
Quotation of John Barton
As I get older, I find I am far less interested in writing directly autobiographical poems, especially about my childhood.
Quotation of John Barton
Because the title poem is about one man's response to being infected with HIV, I can understand why readers would focus the book around the pandemic.
Quotation of John Barton
How does any place influence one's poetry? Sometimes I joke that Hypothesis is about an Alberta boy's struggle to have French boyfriends.
Quotation of John Barton
I became intrigued with colour theory. The absurd pronouncements of the Colour Institute, a group that decides what colours are hot each year or season, amused me.
Quotation of John Barton
I consider a poem to be a kind of experiment where a number of elements are brought together under test conditions to see how they will interact to create meaning or relevance.
Quotation of John Barton
I feel very connected to poets across the country.
Quotation of John Barton
I find it exhausting to administer a magazine without an office or paid staff.
Quotation of John Barton
I have always been very obsessed with time. Time's passage makes us all very vulnerable and because we all experience it in our own way, it can make us feel very alone.
Quotation of John Barton
I have become intrigued with the combining of seemingly unrelated ideas or images, or the drawing upon the many, sometimes dissimilar, meanings a word might have.
Quotation of John Barton
I have been told by a member of the board of one of Canada's most prominent literary magazines that a submission of mine once caused a great deal of controversy.
Quotation of John Barton
I have been told my poems unfold in such a way that it is not at all obvious from the outset where they are going or how they will end.
Quotation of John Barton
I sometimes like to tinker with poems that have failed, ones that I have sent aside. Even years afterward, I will revisit them if there is something about them that I cannot give up on.
Quotation of John Barton
I would not say I chose to write long poems on a conscious level. The long poem has been a relative constant.
Quotation of John Barton
I write about the fears of being intimate, because death has become so closely linked to the expression of love.
Quotation of John Barton
If poetry alters the way in which the reader views the world, then it has had its desired effect.
Quotation of John Barton
In the past, poetry came in the form of spells and chants used to effect change.
Quotation of John Barton
In the same way that good sex involves some kind of emotional connection between lovers, readers have to become engaged emotionally.
Quotation of John Barton
Most victims of my autobiographical verse are either far too polite, remarkably understanding unaware that I have written poems about them.
Quotation of John Barton
My obsession with time informs my poetry so completely it is hard for me to summarize it. We want time to pass, for new things to happen to us, we want to hold on to certain moments, we don't want our lives to end.
Quotation of John Barton
No poem is easily grasped; so why should any reader expect fast results?
Quotation of John Barton
On the rare occasion anyone has commented unfavorably about one of my poems, it has typically been about a detail.
Quotation of John Barton
Ottawa has been very good for my poetry. I have published six of my eight books in the 15 years that I have lived here.
Quotation of John Barton
Poetry is but another form of inquiry into the nature of phenomena, using with its own unique procedures and tools.
Quotation of John Barton
Poets can't resist the dramatic pull of their lives and so inevitably write autobiographical verse.
Quotation of John Barton
Poets have to be sensitive to their audience, but it does not mean that they censor themselves. I realise my audience is diverse. Some will read with empathy and curiosity while others will take offense.
Quotation of John Barton
Readers have told me they had the feeling that even I didn't know where a poem would end until I got there myself.
Quotation of John Barton
Reading should be a repeat performance.
Quotation of John Barton
Some readers allow their prejudices to blind them. A good reader knows how to disregard inappropriate responses.
Quotation of John Barton
Sometimes poetry is inspired by the conversation entered into by reading other poems.
Quotation of John Barton
The community of poets I belong to is not as close as it used to be, if only for the fact that our lives have become busier: jobs, children, and the like.
Quotation of John Barton
The experiment of the poem is mostly intuitive. I write the first draft, pulling in the various elements that interest me, in the hope that their being combined will lead to some kind of insight.
Quotation of John Barton
The greatest satisfaction comes from publishing interesting poems and well written, thoughtful critical material, and to help build a community.
Quotation of John Barton
The poet must decide not to impose his feelings in order to write without sentimentality.
Quotation of John Barton
The point of an experiment is not to arrive at a predetermined end point, to prove or disprove anything, but to deliver a poem that reveals much about the process taken.
Quotation of John Barton
The reader's challenge is to replicate the experiment by reading the poem and to draw their own conclusions.
Quotation of John Barton
To me many short poems read and write like beginnings that simply whet my appetite; I want to get over that.
Quotation of John Barton
We are comfortable with the fact that we cannot know personally what happened in the world before we were born, yet we are uncomfortable with the notion that we will stop engaging with time at some point in the future.
Quotation of John Barton
Who is the ideal reader? God only knows.
Quotation of John Barton
Writing can sometimes be exploitative. I like to take a few steps of remove in order to respect the privacy of the subject. If readers make the link, they have engaged with the poem.
Quotation of John Barton
You can never step into the same book twice, because you are different each time you read it.
Quotation of John Barton