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Norman Maccaig QUOTES / QUOTATIONS
A lot of poets carry a wee notebook in their pockets to jot down ideas and lines and even a verse or two. I never do that.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
A terrible thing about getting oldish is that your friends start dying, and in the last ten years I have lost seven or eight of my closest.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
All I write about is what's happened to me and to people I know, and the better I know them, the more likely they are to be written about.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
All those authors there, most of whom of course I've never met. That's the poetry side, that's the prose side, that's the fishing and miscellaneous behind me. You get an affection for books that you've enjoyed.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
And also I'm not good at inventing things. And also I'm not good at inventing things. I couldn't invent a plot. I couldn't invent a character.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
And if they haven't got poetry in them, there's nothing you can do that will produce it.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
And in a way, that's been a help to me, because I take great passions for a particular poet - sometimes it lasts for many years, sometimes only for a while. This happens to everybody.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
And it's impossible for me to read Henry James.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
And some poets are far better read off the page because they're very bad speakers. I'm thinking of one in particular whom I won't name, a good poet, and he reads in such a dry, boring way, your eyes start drooping.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
And the second question, can poetry be taught? I didn't think so.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
Anybody who writes doesn't like to be misunderstood.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
But I couldn't write monologues in the voice of another person. Wouldn't want to. I feel it's intruding on the other person.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
But I hang on to books. I love them. I even think they're very nice decor in a room - far better than paintings... That's not quite true!
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
But you'd have a job to find many of my poems which would seem to be very influenced by a particular person.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
However, I learned something. I thought that if the young person, the student, has poetry in him or her, to offer them help is like offering a propeller to a bird.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
I don't care whether a book is a first edition or not. I'm not a bibliophile in that word's natural sense.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
I don't think of myself all the time.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
I find it's impossible for me to read Proust.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
I just didn't want to shoot other people.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
I never think about poetry except when I'm writing it. I mean my poetry.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
I only keep books that I like very much. Otherwise I'd throw them out.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
I said I have no powers of invention. Well, I also have no powers of mimicry.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
I used to fish the Border rivers, but nowadays you have to queue up for a shot and I can't stand that.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
I used to have a great love for Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, the big boys of the last century.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
I was very interested in American poetry for many years. Much less now.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
I'm very gregarious, but I love being in the hills on my own.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
If I wrote a play with four characters every single one of them would talk like me regardless of age or sex.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
In fact a lot of them I think are absolute baloney. Those Charles Olsens and people like that. At first I was interested in seeing what they were up to, what they were doing, why they were doing it. They never moved me in the way that one is moved by true poetry.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
In some ways I'm a reticent man, and for quite a number of years there wasn't very much of my real true deep feelings in my writing.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
It's like breathing in and out to me. It's like having a conversation with someone who isn't there. Because it has to be addressed to somebody - not a particular person, or very rarely.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
Not only have I read a lot in public, I've heard a lot of people reading in public.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
People haven't got the interest in long long works these days. A lack of interest which I share.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
The nineteenth century novels came from a time when there was no television and people had time to read novels in three volumes.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
There are books up there I haven't read for many years but I wouldn't put them out. I never know when I might want to read them again.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
There are some friends you don't meet for twenty years and when you meet them again it's as if no twenty years has happened - you're lucky when that happens. I feel the same about books.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
Well, I love fishing. I wouldn't kill a fly myself but I've no hesitation in killing a fish. A lot of men are like that. No bother. Out you come. Thump. And that's not the only reason.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
Well, I'm a light traveller. I chuck things away.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
When I go fishing I like to know that there's nobody within five miles of me.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
When I talk of hearing a poet's voice speaking, I always think of it as in the presence of the man.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
When I was a teacher, teachers would come into my classroom and admire my desk on which lay nothing whatever, whereas theirs were heaped with papers and books.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig
When I was asked to be Writer in Residence at Edinburgh I thought, you can't teach poetry. This is ridiculous.
Quotation of Norman Maccaig