"Each sudden gust of light explains itself as flames, but neither they, nor even bombs redoubled on the hills tonight can quite include me in their fear."
"A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."Andrew Motion on John F. Kennedy
"Pick the day. Enjoy it - to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come... The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present - and I don't want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future."Andrew Motion on Audrey Hepburn
"I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death."Andrew Motion on Thomas Paine
"We fear violence less than our own feelings. Personal, private, solitary pain is more terrifying than what anyone else can inflict."Andrew Motion on Jim Morrison
"What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it."Andrew Motion on Jiddu Krishnamurti
"I like eating out. I like buying beautiful paintings and being surrounded by beautiful things. I have to finance that life. I can barely afford a pension scheme because I don't make enough money."
"I deeply adored my mum. She was an extraordinary person, even for the prejudice I'm likely to have. She was beautiful, amusing, a tremendous elaborator of things into comic proportions and extravagant in her imagination."
"While also, importantly, not wanting to dumb it down or pretend the days of 'difficult' poetry are over, because we live in a pluralist culture and there's room for 'difficult' poetry alongside rap and everything else. And poetry won't be for everyone, but everyone should have the choice."
"Those who say we should dismantle the role of Poet Laureate altogether, the trick they miss is that being called this thing, with the weight of tradition behind it, and with the association of the Royal family, does allow you to have conversations and to open doors, and wallets, for the good of poetry in a way that nothing else would allow."
"Poetry is at the centre of my life, too, emotionally speaking, and intellectually speaking - it's just that I'm one of those people who enjoy doing other stuff as well."