"I was influenced by surrealist poetry and painting as were thousands of other people, and it seems to me to have become a part of the way I write, but it's not."
"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."Kenneth Koch on Oscar Wilde
"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."Kenneth Koch 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."Kenneth Koch on T. S. Eliot
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."Kenneth Koch on Robert Frost
"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."Kenneth Koch on Robert Frost
"Certainly, it seems true enough that there's a good deal of irony in the world... I mean, if you live in a world full of politicians and advertising, there's obviously a lot of deception."
"As for political poetry, as it's usually defined, it seems there's very little good political poetry."
"I love painting and music, of course. I don't know nearly as much about them as I know about poetry. I've certainly been influenced by fiction. I was overwhelmed by War and Peace when I read it, and I didn't read it until I was in my late 20s."
"I was excited by what my painter friends were doing, and they seemed to be interested in our poetry too, and that was a wonderful little, fizzy sort of world."
"I wonder if I ever thought of an ideal reader... I guess when I was in my 20s and in New York and maybe even in my early 30s, I would write for my wife Janice... mainly for my poet friends and my wife, who was very smart about poetry."