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It’s not the poet, it’s the poem

December 19, 2008

In that moment, really I am the vessel for the poem,” she says. “It’s not about the poet at that moment, it’s about the poem. So the pressure — the challenge — is to write a poem that can serve … all of those expectant, gathered millions and to let the poem be what calms my nerves when I am up there. To let myself remember that I am there to deliver these words and these words have been commissioned to deliver a very, very amazing moment.

-Elizabeth Alexander

5 Comments leave one →
  1. kmok1242 permalink
    July 16, 2010 1:07 am

    That is an amazing quote, do you mind if i post it on my blog? No worries, I’ll remember to give you credit.


  2. kmok1242 permalink
    July 28, 2010 12:09 pm

    Thank you! And your welcome! haha.


  3. bldherenow permalink
    August 23, 2010 8:17 pm

    Hello, I would like to invite you to join; The Poetic Voice Community. It is a writer’s site where you can enter contests – add poetry and get feedback. The latest entries are listed on the blog posts. Click on link, and check us out! Then join, and post.


  4. May 8, 2011 10:43 pm

    Interesting quote. I think her poetry is more eloquent than her prose or quotations. For example, here is “Autumn Passage” by Ms. Elizabeth Alexander:

    Autumn Passage

    On suffering, which is real.
    On the mouth that never closes,
    the air that dries the mouth.

    On the miraculous dying body,
    its greens and purples.
    On the beauty of hair itself.

    On the dazzling toddler:
    “Like eggplant,” he says,
    when you say “Vegetable,”

    “Chrysanthemum” to “Flower.”
    On his grandmother’s suffering, larger
    than vanished skyscrapers,

    September zucchini,
    other things too big. For her glory
    that goes along with it,

    glory of grown children’s vigil,
    communal fealty, glory
    of the body that operates

    even as it falls apart, the body
    that can no longer even make fever
    but nonetheless burns

    florid and bright and magnificent
    as it dims, as it shrinks,
    as it turns to something else


    She is quite talented. If you have something poetry you’d like to share or just want to browse some cool poems. Check out my blog:

    Maybe we can exchange links?

    Keep writing!

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