Paul Engle Quotes

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The sharpest memory of our old-fashioned Christmas eve is my mother's hand making sure I was settled in bed.

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A barn with cattle and horses is the place to begin Christmas: after all, that's where the original event happened, and that same smell was the first air that the Christ Child breathed.

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Every Christmas should begin with the sound of bells, and when I was a child mine always did. But they were sleigh bells, not church bells, for we lived in a part of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where there were no churches.

Tags: | Paul Engle,Child,Church,Sound,

All families had their special Christmas food. Ours was called Dutch Bread, made from a dough halfway between bread and cake, stuffed with citron and every sort of nut from the farm - hazel, black walnut, hickory, butternut.

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Poetry is ordinary language raised to the Nth power. Poetry is boned with ideas, nerved and blooded with emotions, all held together by the delicate, tough skin of words.

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I have published in 'The New Yorker,' 'Holiday,' 'Life,' 'Mademoiselle,' 'American Heritage,' 'Horizon,' 'The Ladies Home Journal,' 'The Kenyon Review,' 'The Sewanee Review,' 'Poetry,' 'Botteghe Oscure,' the 'Atlantic Monthly,' 'Harper's.'

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I began to write poetry in high school, and would ride miles over sandy roads in the fine hills around Cedar Rapids, repeating the lines over and over until I had them right, making some of the rhythm of the horse help.

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I wanted to write poetry almost a little more than I wanted to eat.

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Soldiers of the American Revolution fought that 18th century war with heavy muskets. In the early 20th century, we kids fought it every Fourth of July not only with exploding powder and shimmering flares, but with all of our senses.

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Paul Engle

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