"When I was asked to be Writer in Residence at Edinburgh I thought, you can't teach poetry. This is ridiculous."
"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."Norman MacCaig on Oscar Wilde
"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."Norman MacCaig 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."Norman MacCaig on T. S. Eliot
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."Norman MacCaig on Robert Frost
"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."Norman MacCaig on Robert Frost
"I'm very gregarious, but I love being in the hills on my own."
"All those authors there, most of whom of course I've never met. That's the poetry side, that's the prose side, that's the fishing and miscellaneous behind me. You get an affection for books that you've enjoyed."
"And if they haven't got poetry in them, there's nothing you can do that will produce it."
"And the second question, can poetry be taught? I didn't think so."
"However, I learned something. I thought that if the young person, the student, has poetry in him or her, to offer them help is like offering a propeller to a bird."