“The problem with voice is…! that it has largely tyrannized the lyric poem with its domestic monologue that reduces the poem to "I’m talking to you about me". The tensions between the speaking and the spoken has tended to get lost in an exhibition of character voicing some inner process of feeling (rarely thinking). Voice is just one of the devices availabe to writers, and most of us use it. But to limit our material (language) to simply and only what one can "say" limits what the forms of language can create. Achieving voice seems to me like buying property; we think we own it. Can, or should we, do that to language? Is it some speaker using the words of the poem, or is it a poem using words, spoken or not? Let the poem do the talking!”—
“Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire.”—Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, Translation by Richard Howard, 1978 (via wine-loving-vagabond)
“Readers of poetry have the most demanding of listening tasks: like physicians, they must observe with uncommon empathy the gestures and silences of the poem – listen carefully to its breathing and monitor its pulse.”—
Taking Its Pulse: Poetry in the Context of Narrative Medicine
“We delight in our sensuous involvement with the materials of language, we long to join words to the world— to close the gap between ourselves and things — and we suffer from doubt and anxiety because of our inability to do so.”—Lyn Hejinian as quoted in Mark Doty’s The Art of Description: World into Word
“In the modern world, the system of implicit authorization and prohibitions exerts its influences on writers through their readers. An unread author is an author who is a victim of the worst kind of censorship, indifference—a censorship more effective than the Ecclesiastical Index. It is possible that the unpopularity of certain genres—poetry, for example, following Baudelaire and the Symbolists—is a result of the implicit censorship of a democratic and progressivist society. Bougeois rationalism is, in a manner of speaking, constitutionally averse to poetry. Hence poetry, from the beginning of the modern era—that is, since the last years of the eighteenth century—has beren a form of rebellion. Poetry is not a genre in harmony with the modern world; its innermost nature is hostile or indifferent to the dogmas of modern times, progress and the cult of the future. Of course some poets have sincerely and passionately believed in progressive ideals, but their works say something quite different.
Poetry, whatever the manifest content of the poem, is always a violation of the rationalism and morality of t bourgeois society. Our society believes in history: newspapers, radio, television, the now; poetry, by its very nature, is atemporal.”—Octavio Paz, Sor Juana or the Trappings of Faith
“the employment of dream techniques in the arts implied an effort to reach beyond the bounds of waking consciousness toward faculties that could grapple with unrestricted intuitions of time and space.”—the Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant-Garde in France - 1885 to World War I