"So I really began as a failed poet - although when I first wanted to be a writer, I learned to write prose by reading poetry."
"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."Nicholson Baker on Oscar Wilde
"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."Nicholson Baker 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."Nicholson Baker on T. S. Eliot
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."Nicholson Baker on Robert Frost
"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."Nicholson Baker on Robert Frost
"I think I am done with Wikipedia for the time being. But I have a secret hope. Someone recently proposed a Wikimorgue - a bin of broken dreams where all rejects could still be read, as long as they weren't libelous or otherwise illegal."
"Wikipedia is just an incredible thing. It is fact-encirclingly huge, and it is idiosyncratic, careful, messy, funny, shocking and full of simmering controversies - and it is free, and it is fast."
"When I really want to be soothed and reminded of why people bother to fiddle with sentences, I often read poetry."
"From my music training, I knew that, some Spanish rhythms apart, 5/4 is a time signature used only in the modern era. Holst's Mars from the Planets is 5/4. But if you speak lines of poetry in that pattern you just end up hitting the off-beats. It's only when you add a rest - a sixth beat - that it sounds as it surely should sound."