"Well, I had this little notion - I started writing when I was eleven, writing poetry. I was passionately addicted to it it was my great refuge through adolescence."
"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."Harry Mathews on Oscar Wilde
"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."Harry Mathews 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."Harry Mathews on T. S. Eliot
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."Harry Mathews on Robert Frost
"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."Harry Mathews on Robert Frost
"Well, the great thing for me about poetry is that in good poems the dislocation of words, that is to say, the distance between what they say they're saying and what they are actually saying is at its greatest."
"My next project is to get back to that. Actually, to learn how to write poetry. I'm not kidding."
"Well, my relationship to America at the time I left was very limited."