Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Posts Tagged ‘Randall Jarrell

Quote of the Day

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Randall Jarrell

[Wallace] Stevens does not think of inspiration (or whatever you want to call it) as a condition of composition. He too is waiting for the spark from heaven to fall—poets have no choice about this—but he waits writing; and this—other things being equal, when it’s possible—is the best way for the poet to wait.

Randall Jarrell, in The Yale Review

Written by nevalalee

September 1, 2016 at 7:30 am

Quote of the Day

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W.D. Snodgrass

[Randall Jarrell] was so brilliant and he also was extremely cruel…He would read my poems out loud and howl with laughter and slap his thigh! “Snodgrass, you wrote that! You wrote that!” I never treated my students like this, and I don’t know of anyone else who did. The awful thing about it was that he was right.

W.D. Snodgrass

Written by nevalalee

September 23, 2015 at 7:30 am

“A lifetime of standing in thunderstorms…”

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Randall Jarrell

Good painters in their sixties may produce good pictures as regularly as an orchard produces apples; but Planck is a great scientist because he made one discovery as a young man—and I can remember reading in a mathematician’s memoirs a sentence composedly recognizing the fact that, since the writer was now past forty, he was unlikely ever again to do any important creative work in mathematics. A man who is a good poet at forty may turn out to be a good poet at sixty; but he is more likely to have stopped writing poems, to be doing exercises in his own manner, or to have reverted to whatever commonplaces were popular when he was young. A good poet is someone who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightning five or six times; a dozen or two dozen times and he is great.

Randall Jarrell

Written by nevalalee

March 3, 2013 at 9:50 am

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