poem index

On Poetry and Craft [excerpt]

Written by

Theodore Roethke
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The poem, even a short time after being written, 
seems no miracle; unwritten, it seems 
something beyond the capacity of the gods.


Art is the means we have of undoing the damage of 
haste. It's what everything else isn't.


You can't make poetry simply by avoiding clichés.


There's a point where plainness is no longer a virtue, 
when it becomes excessively bald, wrenched.

You must believe: a poem is a holy thing -- a good poem, 
that is.