"Of course a poem is a two-way street. No poem is any good if it doesn't suggest to the reader things from his own mind and recollection that he will read into it, and will add to what the poet has suggested. But I do think poetry readings are very important."
"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."James Laughlin on Oscar Wilde
"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."James Laughlin 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."James Laughlin on T. S. Eliot
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."James Laughlin on Robert Frost
"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."James Laughlin on Robert Frost
"Concrete poets continue to turn out beautiful things, but to me they're more visual than oral, and they almost really belong on the wall rather than in a book. I haven't the least idea of where poetry is going."
"I think that concrete poetry seems to have, as far as I can see, come to a kind of a dead end. It doesn't seem to be going any further than it went in its high period of about five or six years ago."
"I think that is where poetry reading becomes such an individual thing. I mean I have friend who like poets who just don't say anything to me at all, I mean they seem to me rather ordinary and pedestrian."
"I think there's no excuse for the American poetry reader not knowing a good deal about what is going on in the rest of the world."
"I think we will always have the impulse towards visual poetry with us, and I wouldn't agree with Bly that it's a bad thing. It depends on the ability of the individual poet to do it well, and to make a shape which is interesting enough to hold your attention."