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"The way I know something might become a poem has nothing to do with thinking about it. It's a physical sensation rather like the first instant of a memory before you've made sense of it. Perhaps this is when the poem gives me most pleasure. I'm gripped by this thing without having to looked for it. It's overwhelming and perfect, and the entire writing of the poem is towards conveying this first effect.

"Paul Valery describes this as the 'initial and invariably accidental shock which will construct the poetic instrument within us.' The shock is one of recognition, only you know yet what it is you've recognised, as Robert Frost describes: 'the initial delight is in the surprise of remembering something I didn't know I knew. I am in a place, in a situation, as if I had materialised from a cloud or risen out of the ground.' He is saying that the poet enters the poem rather than vice versa, and in order to do the poet has to allow himself or herself to disintegrate, to be taken up and transported."

- Lavinia Greenlaw, in The Guardian Review, 3 September 2011


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