INTERVIEWER: Do you have any advice for young writers starting out?JAMES TATE: No—if a writer is going to get anywhere, he doesn’t listen to anybody.
Write as if you live in an occupied country.
We’re not calling them “divorced” anymore—we’re calling them certified pre-owned spouses.
Still, repression’sgot a lot going for it: from the repressed mind
comes beautiful stories, whereas from the liberated mind comes
websites that show women having sex with vegetables.
— David Kirby, “Pink is the Navy Blue of India”
Every birth a crime, every sentence life.—Basil Bunting
I try to surround myself with people who can never disappoint high expectations.
We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and a mystery.—HG Wells
A liberated woman is a fish that has fought its way ashore.—Karl Kraus
The lesser of two evils: a choice that evil always demands we make, revealing itself in the demand.—Clive James
The dawn has to killA universe of stars every morning
Just to get born.
Most people are other people.—Oscar Wilde
The sea depends on the drop of water.—Franz Kafka
Kings do not touch doors.—Francis Ponge
Inside is the only kind of baseball in poetry, which is why it’s so hard to keep score.—Michael Robbins
Nobody walks away from an argument thinking “I lost.”
A muse inspires when she comes.A wife inspires when she leaves.
A mistress inspires when she does not come.
There are two sets of principles: power and privilege, and truth and justice. If you pursue one, it is always at the expense of the other.—Julien Benda
The simplest way to stop a revolution?
Give it an office in the institution.
The opening line of a poem is like finding a piece of fruit on the ground, a piece of fallen fruit that you’ve never seen before. The poet’s task is to create the tree from which such a fruit would fall.—Paul Valery
We each really only speak one sentence in our lifetime. If you are blessed, it is heard by someone who knows you and loves you and will be sorry to hear the sentence end.—Ernest Fenollosa to Ezra Pound
A girl has her dreams; a boy has his fantasies.—Teo Pozzi
Every good joke must be a small revolution.