"For me, poetry is a situation - a state of being, a way of facing life and facing history."
"All bad poetry springs from genuine feeling."Tahar Ben Jelloun on Oscar Wilde
"A poet can survive everything but a misprint."Tahar Ben Jelloun 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."Tahar Ben Jelloun on T. S. Eliot
"Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words."Tahar Ben Jelloun on Robert Frost
"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness."Tahar Ben Jelloun on Robert Frost
"People must insist on the right to say no, to be alone, to stand out from the herd. Creative artists can say all this in their own way and in their own field, by hard, rigorous work."
"Beauty is first and foremost an emotion."
"I came to poetry through the urgent need to denounce injustice, exploitation, humiliation. I know that's not enough to change the world. But to remain silent would have been a kind of intolerable complicity."
"Intellectuals try to keep going. But their situation is very difficult. Those who have had the courage to voice their opposition have often paid a very high price."
"Emigration is no longer a solution it's a defeat. People are risking death, drowning every day, but they're knocking on doors that are not open."