Saturday, January 14, 2006
Sound Bites by Layton
IRVING LAYTON ON POETS
"The poet is someone who can't help mythologizing his experiences. He exaggerates, distorts, fictionalizes. In him the will-to-power takes the form of investing even the trifling and banal with symbolic significance. But the poet is also someone who makes lucky things happen, for his life is a destiny or a destination."
("Foreword," The Gucci Bag, 1983)
IRVING LAYTON ON POETRY AS A VOCATION
"I now see there is no way for the poet to avoid misunderstanding, even abuse, when he follows his prophetic vocation to lead his fellow men towards sanity and light. If he offers his hand in friendship and love, he must expect someone will try to chop it off at the shoulder. ... A poet is someone who has a strong sense of self and feels his life to be meaningful."
("Foreword," Collected Poems, 1965)
IRVING LAYTON ON HIMSELF
"I want to be remembered as someone who believed that a great poem was the noblest work of man and that no one ever wrote one who didn't want to get out of hell."
("Foreword," Droppings from Heaven, 1979)