Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Quote of the Day (Poet Billy Collins, on Inspiration)

“In 19th-century English poetry, inspiration became a kind of pathology. There were metaphors for inspiration like flames, sparks and fountains. The trouble with the word inspiration in this context is that it suggests passivity—writers are people who write, but if you fall prey to this theory of inspiration, you're not acting, you're waiting….Waiting for inspiration is a way of ennobling procrastination. The trail of poets that has preceded you and affected your writing, those are my inspirations.  You’re never alone when you write. Your page is lit by the candles of the past.”—Former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins, “Soapbox: The Columnists—WSJ. Asks Five Luminaries To Weigh in on Single Topic; This Month: Inspiration,” WSJ., June/July 2023

The photo of Billy Collins accompanying this post was taken May 13, 2007, by Marcelo Noah.

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