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John Barton Quotes

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John Barton
Nationality: Canadian
Category: Poet
Subcategory: Canadian Poet

I became intrigued with colour theory. The absurd pronouncements of the Colour Institute, a group that decides what colours are hot each year or season, amused me.


Most victims of my autobiographical verse are either far too polite, remarkably understanding unaware that I have written poems about them.


You can never step into the same book twice, because you are different each time you read it.


I would not say I chose to write long poems on a conscious level. The long poem has been a relative constant.


In the past, poetry came in the form of spells and chants used to effect change.


Poetry is but another form of inquiry into the nature of phenomena, using with its own unique procedures and tools.


A literary journal is intended to connect writer with reader; the role of the editor is to mediate.


The reader's challenge is to replicate the experiment by reading the poem and to draw their own conclusions.


Reading should be a repeat performance.


Poets have to be sensitive to their audience, but it does not mean that they censor themselves. I realise my audience is diverse. Some will read with empathy and curiosity while others will take offense.


To me many short poems read and write like beginnings that simply whet my appetite; I want to get over that.


I have always been very obsessed with time. Time's passage makes us all very vulnerable and because we all experience it in our own way, it can make us feel very alone.


The community of poets I belong to is not as close as it used to be, if only for the fact that our lives have become busier: jobs, children, and the like.


No poem is easily grasped; so why should any reader expect fast results?


I consider a poem to be a kind of experiment where a number of elements are brought together under test conditions to see how they will interact to create meaning or relevance.


Writing can sometimes be exploitative. I like to take a few steps of remove in order to respect the privacy of the subject. If readers make the link, they have engaged with the poem.


Some readers allow their prejudices to blind them. A good reader knows how to disregard inappropriate responses.


I have been told by a member of the board of one of Canada's most prominent literary magazines that a submission of mine once caused a great deal of controversy.


An experienced reader uses the poem as an agent of inquiry. This makes poetry very exciting, unstable, and interactive.


The experiment of the poem is mostly intuitive. I write the first draft, pulling in the various elements that interest me, in the hope that their being combined will lead to some kind of insight.


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