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Robert Penn Warren

How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.

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I don't expect you'll hear me writing any poems to the greater glory of Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

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The urge to write poetry is like having an itch. When the itch becomes annoying enough, you scratch it.

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For what is a poem but a hazardous attempt at self-understanding: it is the deepest part of autobiography.

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I've been to a lot of places and done a lot of things, but writing was always first. It's a kind of pain I can't do without.

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Poets, we know, are terribly sensitive people, and in my observation one of the things they are most sensitive about is money.

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The poem is a little myth of man's capacity of making life meaningful. And in the end, the poem is not a thing we see-it is, rather, a light by which we may see-and what we see is life.

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The end of man is knowledge but there's one thing he can't know. He can't know whether knowledge will save him or kill him. He will be killed, all right, but he can't know whether he is killed because of the knowledge which he has got or because of the knowledge which he hasn't got and which if he had it would save him.

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