Frank Stafford

I don’t think it matters how a poet plants his garden; it is the quality of the yield which matters. Just like the stars, there are so many things to be said of poets and poems. I am not content in just suggesting things by the use of words, I want to show the origins, the metaphors of reality, the free movement of the spirit. Poetry is a body, all right, but in spirit it is the function which oftentimes creates the organ.

Jean Cocteau said mystery exists only in precise things—people in situations, situations in people. Because I believe the visionary life has nothing to do with a necessarily transcendent existence, I like most of the poems I read. I believe most poets know this is the world; and when you try to lead a special life or write a special poetry, you are dancing with an imaginary partner at a meaningless dance to which you have invited yourself and no one else.

— “With the Approach of the Oak the Axeman Quakes”