Robert Pinsky - Quotes

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For an American, there's no automatic place where people love the art of poetry. There's not a social class that considers poetry its property the way in some countries there's a snob value to the art. ---->>>

I think my first experience of art, or the joy in making art, was playing the horn at some high-school dance or bar mitzvah or wedding, looking at a roomful of people moving their bodies around in time to what I was doing. There was a piano player, a bass player, a drummer, and my breath making the melody.

I think my first experience of art, or the joy in making art, was playing the horn at some high-school dance or bar mitzvah or wedding, looking at a roomful of people moving their bodies around in time to what I was doing. There was a piano player, a bass player, a drummer, and my breath making the melody.

New Jersey is the most poetic state: close enough to New York to be urban and cosmopolitan, far enough to be desirous and unsure; densely populated, but full of farms and woods, with the most deer of any state. ---->>>

Autobiography is a genre notorious for falsehood. ---->>>

Method involves a slavish addiction to laws, and we can only aspire to anarchy. ---->>>

Sometimes the ideas that mean the most to you will feel true long before you can quite formulate them or justify them. ---->>>

All questions of process require an answer that begins with a very important sentence, and the sentence is: 'Everybody is different.' Whatever way of working you name - methodical, haphazard, gets up early in the morning, sleeps all day, works at night, revises immensely, never revises at all - someone has made great work with that way. ---->>>

I'm far from immune to the American, perhaps historically male, prejudice toward practical and physical competence; I hope I've also considered that prejudice enough to have some distance from it. ---->>>

The last thing a young artist should do in poetry or any other field is think about what's in style, what's current, what are the trends. Think instead of what you like to read, what do you admire, what you like to listen to in music. What do you like to look at in architecture? Try to make a poem that has some of those qualities. ---->>>

Art will not solve your problems. It will not enable you to live merrily. ---->>>

I think art is not an ornament or refinement at the fringes of human intelligence, I think it's at the center. It's at the core.

I think art is not an ornament or refinement at the fringes of human intelligence, I think it's at the center. It's at the core.

If what you want to do is make good art, decide what's good and try to imitate it. ---->>>

Poetry is a vocal art for me - but not necessarily a performative one. It might be reading to oneself or recalling some lines by memory. ---->>>

Poetry is not easy. Or should I say, real poetry is not easy.

Poetry is not easy. Or should I say, real poetry is not easy.

For a lot of people, well-meaning teaching has made poetry seem arcane, difficult, a kind of brown-knotting medicine that might be good for you but doesn't taste so good. So I tried to make a collection of poetry that would be fun. And that would bring out poetry as an art, rather than the challenge to say smart things. ---->>>

I am a frustrated saxophone player. If I could, I would abandon all of my books, and I would trade it all if I could play the way people I admire play. ---->>>

I delight sometimes in saying to - as when I'm a teacher, I love saying, 'This is really important, so don't write it down.' To me, what you retain is a very important filter. ---->>>

I don't like to have a calm, orderly, quiet place to work. I often compose while driving, compose in my head. It is true that I wrote my little book, 'The Sounds of Poetry, A Brief Guide,' almost entirely in airplanes and airport departure lounges.

I don't like to have a calm, orderly, quiet place to work. I often compose while driving, compose in my head. It is true that I wrote my little book, 'The Sounds of Poetry, A Brief Guide,' almost entirely in airplanes and airport departure lounges.

I love form, but I'm not interested in forms. I've never written a sonnet or villanelle or sestina or any of that. For me, it's a kind of line. It's a rhythm. It's something musical. ---->>>

If I live near a dancer or a painter, or a clarinet player comes from my neighborhood, I take some pleasure in that, feel a little more as if I come from someplace in particular. ---->>>

If you want to make films, you'll watch Kurosawa. If you want to play a violin, you listen to Seghetti. Same with somebody who has the ambition to play in the NBA. I watch a basketball game; I enjoy it. Somebody who really wants to learn to play is studying whatever is most magnificent that's going on out there. ---->>>

Jazz and poetry both involve a structure that may be familiar and to some extent predictable. And then, you try to create as much surprise and spontaneity and feeling and variation while respecting that structure. ---->>>

The best argument for teaching poetry is to put a three-year-old or a four-year-old and read Dr. Seuss, or Robert Louis Stevenson, and to feel how the child and you are engaging in something that's really basic to the animal, which is passing on in these rhythmic ways, something that came from somewhere. ---->>>

The wonderful 17th Century poet, Robert Herrick, wrote a poem entitled, 'To Live Merrily and to Trust to Good Verses.' Easy to say, Robert Herrick; not always easy to do. But it's a good slogan, I think. ---->>>

To me, writing is a matter of voice. I think like that. The expression I sometimes use to myself is 'actual song.' That what I do is somewhere on the line between speaking to you as I am now and actual song. And the things I love when I say one of those poems to myself - it's a little bit like singing, it's a little bit like speaking. ---->>>

When I was a kid, there was unhappiness in my family - was dealt with partly by escaping to television. And from a very early age, for whatever reason, I became scornful and resistant to and angry about that. And some other time in my life, I realized that there's a lot I loved in television. ---->>>

When I was a teenager, just about the only thing I could do right was play music. In my graduating class, I was certainly not voted 'Most Literary Boy.' I can assure you I was not voted 'Mostly Likely to Succeed.' I was voted 'Most Musical Boy.' And the music led to the poetry. ---->>>

'Write' is almost the wrong verb for what I do. I think 'compose' is more accurate because you're trying to make the sounds in your mind and in your voice. So I compose while I'm driving or in the shower. ---->>>

Biography

Nationality: American
Born: 10-20, 1940
Birthplace:
Die:
Occupation: Poet
Website:

Robert Pinsky (born October 20, 1940) is an American poet, essayist, literary critic, and translator. From 1997 to 2000, he served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. Pinsky is the author of nineteen books, most of which are collections of his poetry. His published work also includes critically acclaimed translations, including The Inferno of Dante Alighieri and The Separate Notebooks by Czesław Miłosz (wikipedia)