HumanitiesWeb.org - Robert Frost - American's Favourite Poet [Quotations]
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26 June, 2013

Robert Frost
Quotations



"Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting."

"I have never been good at revising. I always thought I made things worse by recasting and retouching. I never knew what was meant by choice of words. It was one word or none. "
 
"You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from the right part of the country."
 
"Poets are like baseball pitchers. Both have their moments. The intervals are the tough things."
 
"People who read me seem to be divided into four groups: twenty-five percent like me for the right reasons; twenty-five percent like me for the wrong reasons; twenty-five percent hate me for the wrong reasons; twenty-five percent hate me for the right reasons. It's that last twenty-five percent that worries me."
 
"No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader."
 
"The poet, as everyone knows, must strike his individual note sometime between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five. He may hold it a long time, or a short time, but it is then he must strike it or never. School and college have been conducted with the almost express purpose of keeping him busy with something else till the danger of his ever creating anything has past."
 
"Modern poets talk against business, poor things, but all of us write for money. Beginners are subjected to trial by market, poor things."
 
"Like a piece of ice on a hot stove the poem must ride on its own melting."
 
"A poem is never a put-up job so to speak. It begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a love sickness. It is never a thought to begin with."
 
"There are three things, after all, that a poem must reach: the eye, the ear, and what we may call the heart or the mind. It is most important of all to reach the heart of the reader."
 
"A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer."
 
"A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel."
 
"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper."
 
"The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office."
 
"The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them."
 
"You can be a rank insider as well as a rank outsider."
 
"All there is to writing is having ideas. To learn to write is to learn to have ideas."
 
"A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom."
 
"Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down."
 
"Poetry is a way of taking life by the throat. "
 
"Any work of art must first of all tell a story. "
 
"I have just been to a city in the West, a city full of poets, a city they have made safe for poets. The whole city is so lovely that you do not have to write it up to make it poetry; it is ready-made for you. But, I don't know the poetry written in that city might not seem like poetry if read outside of the city. It would be like the jokes made when you were drunk; you have to get drunk again to appreciate them."
 
"Hell is a half-filled auditorium."
 
"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life. It goes on. "
 
"I think I play better tennis because the court is there. "
 
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