Anne Stevenson, American Poet ( - )

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I am now seventy, rather glad, really, that I won't live to see the horrors to come in the 21st century.~Anne Stevenson

I Am Live Seventy

Peter Lucas and I live in Durham but spend a great of time in North Wales, where we have a cottage in the mountains, and in Vermont, USA, with my sister - who is a children's writer married to a poet.~Anne Stevenson

Time Children Sister

Poets should ignore most criticism and get on with making poetry.~Anne Stevenson

Poetry Criticism Ignore

Looking back at it now, any objective account of my life is bound to read like a cross between 'The Wife of Bath's Tale' and a travel brochure.~Anne Stevenson

Life Wife Travel

I dislike literary jargon and never use it. Criticism has only one function and that is to help readers read and understand literature. It is not a science, it is an aid to art.~Anne Stevenson

Art Science Help

A poem might be defined as thinking about feelings - about human feelings and frailties.~Anne Stevenson

Poetry Thinking Feelings

Blake has always been a favorite, the lyrics, not so much the prophetic books, but I suppose Yeats influenced me more as a young poet, and the American, Robert Frost.~Anne Stevenson

American Me Young

Each word bears its weight, so you have to read my poems quite slowly.~Anne Stevenson

Poetry You Word

I did know Ted Hughes and I partly wrote the book to explain to myself and others the complexities of a marriage that was for six years wonderfully productive of poetry and then ended in tragedy.~Anne Stevenson

Marriage Myself Poetry

I don't like poetry that just slaps violent words on a canvas, as it were.~Anne Stevenson

Poetry Words Canvas

I have always made my own rules, in poetry as in life - though I have tried of late to cooperate more with my family. I do, however, believe that without order or pattern poetry is useless.~Anne Stevenson

Life Family Poetry

I like rhyme because it is memorable, I like form because having to work to a pattern gives me original ideas.~Anne Stevenson

Work Me Ideas

I married a young Englishman in Cambridge in 1955 and have lived in Britain every since.~Anne Stevenson

Young Married Lived

I play with language a great deal in my poems, and I enjoy that. I try to condense language, that is, I try to express complicated but I hope real emotions as simply as possible. But that doesn't mean the poems are simple, just that they are as truthful as I can make them.~Anne Stevenson

Hope Great Simple

I remain loyal to Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert in music and to Shakespeare and Jane Austen in literature.~Anne Stevenson

Music Literature Loyal

I think a poet, like a painter, should be a craftsperson.~Anne Stevenson

Think Should Like

I work very hard on all my poems, but most of the work consists of trying not to sound as if I had worked. I try to make them sound as natural as possible, but within a quite strict form, which to my ears has a lot to do with musical rhythm and sound.~Anne Stevenson

Work Trying Try

I write, or used to write, to explain to myself situations I couldn't otherwise solve or understand. Meditation comes very naturally to me.~Anne Stevenson

Myself Me Meditation

I'm not really quiet or shy. Ask any of my friends! But I always ground my poetry in life itself. Poetry is an art of language, though, so I am always aware of every word's meaning, or multiple meanings.~Anne Stevenson

Life Art Poetry

My earlier poems were sadder than my poems are today, perhaps because I wrote them in confusion or when I was unhappy. But I am not a melancholy person, quite the contrary, no one enjoys laughing more than I do.~Anne Stevenson

Today I Am Unhappy

Sylvia Plath was just a month and a half older than I, and when she committed suicide I was only 30 - and very shocked and sorry. I never knew her personally.~Anne Stevenson

Suicide Sorry She

There is far too much literary criticism of the wrong kind. That is why I never could have survived as an academic.~Anne Stevenson

Criticism Kind Too Much

When everything is for 'fun' nothing is for the good.~Anne Stevenson

Good Fun Nothing

Yes, I do often write poems from the mind, but I hope I don't ignore feelings and emotions.~Anne Stevenson

Hope Mind Emotions

Writing in a strict form can surprise you.~Anne Stevenson

Writing Surprise You

Many varieties of sonnet, of course, have been written over the ages.~Anne Stevenson

Over Many Sonnet