"Have you ever heard a good joke? If you've ever heard someone just right, with the right pacing, then you're already on the way to poetry. It's about using words in very precise ways and using gesture."
"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."Rita Dove on Oscar Wilde
"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."Rita Dove 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."Rita Dove on T. S. Eliot
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."Rita Dove on Robert Frost
"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."Rita Dove on Robert Frost
"I was apprehensive. I feared every time I talked about poetry, it would be filtered through the lens of race, sex, and age."
"One definition of eternity is that we are not alone on this planet, that there are those who've gone before and those who will come, and that there is a community of spirits."
"I thought, after the Pulitzer, at least nothing will surprise me quite that much in my life. And another one happened. It was quite amazing."
"What is ironic is that Allen Ginsberg's importance was in its twilight for so many years that it took his death to bring it to the front page. He electrified an entire world!"
"You have to imagine it possible before you can see something. You can have the evidence right in front of you, but if you can't imagine something that has never existed before, it's impossible."