When superstition is allowed to perform the task of old age in dulling the human temperament, we can say goodbye to all excellence in poetry, in painting, and in music.
I was apprehensive. I feared every time I talked about poetry, it would be filtered through the lens of race, sex, and age.
An age which is incapable of poetry is incapable of any kind of literature except the cleverness of a decadence.
Every age has its own poetry: in every age the circumstances of history choose a nation, a race, a class to take up the torch by creating situations that can be expressed or transcended only through poetry.
The reason can only be this: heroic poetry depends on an heroic age, and an age is heroic because of what it is, not because of what it does.
I am often asked why I started to write poetry. The answer is that my motivation sprang from a visceral need to creatively articulate the experiences of the black youth of my generation, coming of age in a racist society.
If Galileo had said in verse that the world moved, the inquisition might have let him alone.
Journalism wishes to tell what it is that has happened everywhere as though the same things had happened for every man. Poetry wishes to say what it is like for any man to be himself in the presence of a particular occurrence as though only he were alone there.
I'm fascinated by rap and by hip-hop. I think there's a lot of poetry in it. There's a lot of anger, a lot of social energy in it. And I think you'd better listen to it pretty carefully, 'cause it's important.
A man of eighty has outlived probably three new schools of painting, two of architecture and poetry and a hundred in dress.
Istanbul is inspiring because it has its own code of architecture, literature, poetry, music.
Every one who has a heart, however ignorant of architecture he may be, feels the transcendent beauty and poetry of the mediaeval churches.
I see architecture not as Gropius did, as a moral venture, as truth, but as invention, in the same way that poetry or music or painting is invention.
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.
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