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Marilyn Hacker quotes (34)

As a teacher you are more or less obliged to pay the same amount of attention to everything. That can wear you down.
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Clearly, once the student is no longer a student the possibilities of relationship are enlarged.
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Community means people spending time together here, and I don't think there's really that.
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Everyone thinks they're going to write one book of poems or one novel.
Marilyn Hacker   Category: Poetry

Given the devaluation of literature and of the study of foreign languages per se in the United States, as well as the preponderance of theory over text in graduate literature studies, creative writing programs keep literature courses populated.
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Good writing gives energy, whatever it is about.
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I don't know whether a poem has be there to help to develop something. I think it's there for itself, for what the reader finds in it.
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I don't think it's by accident that I was first attracted to translating two French women poets.
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I have experienced healing through other writers' poetry, but there's no way I can sit down to write in the hope a poem will have healing potential. If I do, I'll write a bad poem.
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I lived in the studio apartment that I bought for four years before I bought it in 1989, so I was already in it. I began living there in 1985, so I've had the same address and phone number since then.
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I started to send my work to journals when I was 26, which was just a question of when I got the courage up. They were mostly journals I had been reading for the previous six or seven years.
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I think there is something about coming to a city to work that puts you in touch with it in a different way.
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I try to write everyday. I do that much better over here than when I'm teaching. I always rewrite, usually fairly close-on which is to say first draft, then put it aside for 24 hours then more drafts.
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I wonder what it means about American literary culture and its transmission when I consider the number of American poets who earn their living teaching creative writing in universities. I've ended up doing that myself.
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I worked at all kinds of jobs, mostly commercial editing.
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I'm addicted to email, but other than that, there are practical things - being able to buy a book on the internet that you can't find in your local bookshop. This could be a lifeline if you live further from the sources.
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I've been an inveterate reader of literary magazines since I was a teenager. There are always discoveries. You're sitting in your easy chair, reading; you realize you've read a story or a group of poems four times, and you know, Yes, I want to go farther with this writer.
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My mother was told she couldn't go to medical school because she was a woman and a Jew. So she became a teacher in the New York City public school system.
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Of the individual poems, some are more lyric and some are more descriptive or narrative. Each poem is fixed in a moment. All those moments written or read together take on the movement and architecture of a narrative.
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Paris is a wonderful city. I can't say I belong to an especially anglophone community.
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Perhaps first and foremost is the challenge of taking what I find as a reader and making it into a poem that, primarily, has to be a plausible poem in English.
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Poetry seems to have been eliminated as a literary genre, and installed instead, as a kind of spiritual aerobic exercise - nobody need read it, but anybody can do it.
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The ambiguities of language, both in terms of vocabulary and syntax, are fascinating: how important connotation is, what is lost and what is gained in the linguistic transition.
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The phenomenon of university creative writing programs doesn't exist in France. The whole idea is regarded as a novelty, or an oddity.
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The pleasure that I take in writing gets me interested in writing a poem. It's not a statement about what I think anybody else should be doing. For me, it's an interesting tension between interior and exterior.
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The pull between sound and syntax creates a kind of musical tension in the language that interests me.
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The woman poet must be either a sexless, reclusive eccentric, with nothing to say specifically to women, or a brilliant, tragic, tortured suicide.
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There is a way in which all writing is connected. In a second language, for example, a workshop can liberate the students' use of the vocabulary they're acquiring.
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There is something very satisfactory about being in the middle of something.
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Translation is an interestingly different way to be involved both with poetry and with the language that I've found myself living in much of the time. I think the two feed each other.
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Translation makes me look at how a poem is put together in a different way, without the personal investment of the poem I'm writing myself, but equally closely technically.
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We sometimes received - and I would read - 200 manuscripts a week. Some of them were wonderful, some were terrible; most were mediocre. It was like the gifts of the good and bad fairies.
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When you translate poetry in particular, you're obliged to look at how the writer with whom you're working puts together words, sentences, phrases, the triple tension between the line of verse, the syntax and the sentence.
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You are almost not free, if you are teaching a group of graduate students, to become friends with one of them. I don't mean anything erotically charged, just a friendship.
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