"I'm not precisely saying that a really good board meeting at the MLA (Museums, Libraries and Archives Coucil) makes me want to go and write poetry, but there is a pleasure in doing that sort of thing well."
"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."Andrew Motion on Oscar Wilde
"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."Andrew Motion on Oscar Wilde
"Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion it is not the expression of personality, but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotions know what it means to want to escape from these things."Andrew Motion on T. S. Eliot
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."Andrew Motion on Robert Frost
"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."Andrew Motion on Robert Frost
"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."
"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."