” I’ve not been a prolific poet, and it always seemed to me to be a bad idea to feel that you had to produce in order to get… credits. Production of a collection of poems every three years or every five years, or whatever, looks good, on paper. But it might not be good, it might be writing on a kind of automatic pilot. “


” An aria in an opera – Handel’s ‘Ombra mai fu,’ for example – gets along with an incredibly small number of words and ideas and a large amount of variation and repetition. That’s the beauty of it. It’s not taxing to the listener’s intelligence because if you haven’t heard it the first time round, it’ll come around again. “


” A cabaret song has got to be written – for the middle voice, ideally – because you’ve got to hear the wit of the words. And a cabaret song gives the singer room to act, more even than an opera singer. “


” If you’re writing a song, you have to write something that can be understood serially. When you’re reading a poem that’s written for the page, your eye can skip up and down. You can see the thing whole. But you’re not going to see the thing whole in the song. You’re going to hear it in series, and you can’t skip back. “


” In my opinion, it is easier to avoid iambic rhythms, when writing in syllabics, if you create a line or pattern of lines using odd numbers of syllables. “



All 5 James Fenton Quotes about You in picture


I
An aria in an opera - Handel
A cabaret song has got to be written - for the middle voice, ideally - because you
If you
In my opinion, it is easier to avoid iambic rhythms, when writing in syllabics, if you create a line or pattern of lines using odd numbers of syllables.

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