Tony Hoagland

Literary Birthday – 19 November – Tony Hoagland

Tony Hoagland was born 19 November 1953 and died 23 October 2018.

No matter how you feel you have to act
like you are very popular with yourself;
very relaxed and purposeful
very unconfused
and not
like you are walking through the sunshine
in chains.

Five Quotes

  1. There’s Socialism and Communism and Capitalism and there’s Feminism and Hedonism, and there’s Catholicism and Bipedalism and Consumerism, but I think Narcissism is the system that means the most to me.
  2. The glory of the protagonist is always paid for by a lot of secondary characters.
  3. A poem is a heroic act of integration that binds into rough harmony the chorus of forces within and outside the soul. A poem struggles to orchestrate, prioritize, cohere, and coordinate these potentially shattering forces.
  4. When you’re a student of poetry, you’re lucky if you don’t realise how untalented you are until you get a little better. Otherwise, you would just stop.
  5. So much of what I love about poetry lies in the vast possibilities of voice, the spectacular range of idiosyncratic flavours that can be embedded in a particular human voice reporting from the field. One beautiful axis of voice is the one that runs between vulnerability and detachment, between ‘It hurts to be alive’ and ‘I can see a million miles from here.’ A good poetic voice can do both at once.

Tony Hoagland was an American poet and writer. He was best known for his poetry collection, What Narcissism Means to Me.

Source for Image

David notMD, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 19th November 2014