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" For several centuries what has passed for song in literary circles was any text that looked like the lyrics for a commonplace melodic setting. "
" Disney made a fortune out of inventing the businessman's idea of the imaginary as the contradictory of the businessman's idea of the real. "
" I am quite unsatisfied by the distinctions between the oral and literate. "
" The Sophists' paradoxical talk pieces and their public debates were entertainment in 5th century Greece. And in that world, Socrates was an entertainer. "
" I'm aware of my audience in a way, and I do try to engage with them while I'm trying to go about my business of thinking. I believe they help me by providing a focus. "
" I'm standing up thinking. Anybody who wants to listen is welcome. If not, I'm happy to see them go. "
" While I've had a great distaste for what's usually called song in modern poetry or for what's usually called music, I really don't think of speech as so far from song. "
" I'm not sure what theory is, unless it's the pursuit of fundamental questions. "
" I reserve the right to tell shaggy dog stories or even common jokes as part of what I'm doing. I don't give a damn if half the audience walks out. "
" You pay your money, you take your choice. I get the audience my language attracts and I lose the ones it repels. "
" From this entertainment industry, may the gods of language protect us. "
" Children frequently sing meaningful phrases to themselves over and over again before they learn to make a distinction between singing and saying. "
" Stories are different every time you tell them - they allow so many possible narratives. "
" I hardly remember how I started to write poetry. It's hard to imagine what I thought poetry could do. "
" I wanted to be an inventor, whatever I thought that meant then. I guess I was thinking of Edison or maybe James Watt. Or maybe even Newton. "
" I was trying to find out what it was that everybody else understood without giving up my stubborn and hard-won lack of understanding. "
" The ancient Greek oral poets all had this anxiety about the deficiencies of their memories and always began poems by praying to the Muse to help them remember. "
" There are editing procedures for talks just as there are editing procedures in jazz improvisation. "
" I had no idea where these kids at a small private college in the San Fernando Valley were coming from, why they were coming to hear me, or what they needed to know. "
" When you grow up in a family of languages, you develop a kind of casual fluency, so that languages, though differently colored, all seem transparent to experience. "
" My way of thinking is very particular and concrete. It doesn't follow a continuous path. "
" I tended to emphasize the secular, the casual, the colloquial, the vernacular against the sacred. "
" I've always had a strong feeling for the Statue of Liberty, because it became the statue of my personal liberty. "
" When my mother left her second husband, she wrote her autobiography and presented it to him for his approval. "
" There is probably no oral society that fails to mark the spatial distinction of left and right, peculiar as this distinction may be. "
" I can manage a prose format as long as I keep closer to Laurence Sterne than to Henry James. "
" My rejection of the idea of entertainment in its current form is based on the audience that comes with it. "
" I have spoken to expert audiences occasionally, but then no audience is expert over the whole range of things I want to explore. "
" The self is an oral society in which the present is constantly running a dialogue with the past and the future inside of one skin. "
" While I don't script and I don't use other performers, I think my taste for underlying precision gives me something in common with Allan and George Brecht. "
" I didn't think about whether I was writing poems. I was thinking. And the more I was thinking, the more there was I didn't understand. "