"I've never read a political poem that's accomplished anything. Poetry makes things happen, but rarely what the poet wants."
"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."Howard Nemerov on Oscar Wilde
"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."Howard Nemerov 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."Howard Nemerov on T. S. Eliot
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."Howard Nemerov on Robert Frost
"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."Howard Nemerov on Robert Frost
"For a Jewish Puritan of the middle class, the novel is serious, the novel is work, the novel is conscientious application why, the novel is practically the retail business all over again."
"I never abandoned either forms or freedom. I imagine that most of what could be called free verse is in my first book. I got through that fairly early."
"The nice thing about the Bible is it doesn't give you too many facts. Two an a half lines and it tells you the whole story and that leaves you a great deal of freedom to elaborate on how it might have happened."
"I would talk in iambic pentameter if it were easier."
"A chronicle is very different from history proper."