James Wright was born 13 December 1927, and died 25 March 1980.
- I’ve written books of verse, but I’m a professor. And to me personally, teaching is the art that gives me the more pleasure. I’m not trying to put myself down as poet, but I mean what I say. That is, the contact with my students, and my reading of books and trying to share my thoughts and feelings with my students, gives me more pleasure, and I honour this as a high art. Remember that the teachers include Jesus, Socrates, Siddhartha, Meister Eckhardt.
- I would rather live my life than not live it.
- We choose exile as a vantage point; from exile we look back on the rejected.
- I rewrite my poems so often that I sometimes get mixed up about which version was finally published. I don’t want to let a poem go until I think I’ve got it honed down just to what it should be, and that involves all sorts of weird problems. One of them is that you overwrite it. You’ve got to know when to stop.
- To teach the younger poets the crucial importance of the relation between craft and imagination. Because without craft, by which I mean the active employment of the intelligence, the imagination, that mysterious and frightening thing, can not come free.
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