- Imitation, if it is not forgery, is a fine thing. It stems from a generous impulse, and a realistic sense of what can and cannot be done.
- One does not become a guru by accident.
- Generally speaking, rhyme is the marker for the end of a line. The first rhyme-word is like a challenge thrown down, which the poem itself has to respond to.
- I prefer writing in the mornings, so to that extent I have a routine. I do reading and other things in the afternoon.
- Lyric poetry is, of course, musical in origin. I do know that what happened to poetry in the twentieth century was that it began to be written for the page.
- The lullaby is the spell whereby the mother attempts to transform herself back from an ogre to a saint.
- The writing of a poem is like a child throwing stones into a mineshaft. You compose first, then you listen for the reverberation.
Fenton is an English poet, journalist and literary critic. He is a former Oxford Professor of Poetry. He won the 2015 PEN Pinter prize.
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