Inspirational Quotes from Andrew Motion

I’m an early bird, partly because I like to have some quiet time and partly because by 9am emails begin arriving, the phone starts ringing and I have dragons to kill of one sort or another.

Andrew Motion

Those who say we should dismantle the role of Poet Laureate altogether, the trick they miss is that being called this thing, with the weight of tradition behind it, and with the association of the Royal family, does allow you to have conversations and to open doors, and wallets, for the good of poetry in a way that nothing else would allow.

Andrew Motion

If people connect me with the Romantics in general, they probably connect me most with Keats. But Wordsworth is the poet I admire above all others.

Andrew Motion

I’m also a great believer in the dream life; that while we’re asleep, a deep subconscious connection is made about our profoundest fears, hopes, loves, losses, dreads and desires.

Andrew Motion

In a general way, I want to be a kind of flag-waver, bunting hanger-up, drum-beater, you name it, for poetry.

Andrew Motion

Each sudden gust of light explains itself as flames, but neither they, nor even bombs redoubled on the hills tonight can quite include me in their fear.

Andrew Motion

I’ve found a different way to scent the air: already it’s a by-word for despair.

Andrew Motion

You see the names of places roundabout? They’re mine now, and I’ve turned them inside out.

Andrew Motion

These places, and the ancient things you know, You won’t know soon. I’m working on it now.’

Andrew Motion

But Wordsworth is the poet I admire above all others.

Andrew Motion

Keats writes better about poems than anybody I’ve ever read. The things that he says about what he wants his own poems to be are the ideals that I share.

Andrew Motion

I don’t want my poems to be sentimental, though I do acknowledge that sentiment is probably rather under-reported in a lot of people’s feelings a lot of the time.

Andrew Motion

I want to write poems which are very emotional, but I would have some hesitation in saying I want to write poems which are sentimental.

Andrew Motion

Poetry is at the centre of my life, too, emotionally speaking, and intellectually speaking – it’s just that I’m one of those people who enjoy doing other stuff as well.

Andrew Motion

I’m not precisely saying that a really good board meeting at the MLA (Museums, Libraries and Archives Coucil) makes me want to go and write poetry, but there is a pleasure in doing that sort of thing well.

Andrew Motion

I’m not much given to making shamanistic remarks about all this, but I’m a great believer in the dream life. If I can carry without spilling whatever it is that drips into my head in the night to my desk, then that’s valuable.

Andrew Motion

If I were to die thinking that I’d written three poems that people might read after me, I would feel that I hadn’t lived in vain. Great poets might expect the whole body of their work, but most of us – well, I would settle for a handful.

Andrew Motion

I’ve always thought that the balance between the side of my mind that knows what it is doing and the side that really hasn’t got a clue has to be carefully maintained because if you write too knowingly then you get chilly, and if you write too unknowingly you write bollocks that nobody else can understand.

Andrew Motion

I think it is interesting to think about the absolute animal relish young people have for rhythm and rhyme.

Andrew Motion

I read ‘Treasure Island’ for the first time at university. And I started to notice then how unresolved some things were. Later, I realised that Stevenson was interested in sequels, and I wondered whether he would have gone back to it had he lived longer.

Andrew Motion

Like a lot of people, for a long time I thought that the road to hell is paved with bad sequels.

Andrew Motion

I write between 5.30am and 9.00. That way, I hope I carry over something from my dream time.

Andrew Motion

I wish I’d been better able to resist the sense of obligation to write some of the poems I did. It’s in the nature of commissioned work to be written too much from the side of your mind that knows what it’s doing, which dries up the poetry.

Andrew Motion

Well, it’s a badge of honour for any self-respecting poet to be criticized by Auberon Waugh. But in a lot of ways my poems are very conventional, and it’s no big deal for me to write a poem in either free verse or strict form; modern poets can, and do, do both.

Andrew Motion

But in a lot of ways my poems are very conventional, and it’s no big deal for me to write a poem in either free verse or strict form; modern poets can, and do, do both.

Andrew Motion

But I can’t and don’t ever want to write bell-yanking confetti-tossing hat-throwing poems.

Andrew Motion

In a fragile environment, we need to be aware of ourselves as members of a uniquely powerful species living among other species who are quite as interesting as we are but vulnerable to us because we are cleverer in more destructive ways.

Andrew Motion

I get up at 5.30am, sluice myself and have two Weetabix and some mint tea, before starting to write by 6am.

Andrew Motion

I deeply adored my mum. She was an extraordinary person, even for the prejudice I’m likely to have. She was beautiful, amusing, a tremendous elaborator of things into comic proportions and extravagant in her imagination.

Andrew Motion

When you’re being looked at very hard, it’s very hard to look back. And that made me stop paying attention to the world in a way that allowed me then to write about it.

Andrew Motion

I’m ensuring my place in heaven.

Andrew Motion

There are plenty of examples of people who have had busy lives out there in the world, trying to do good, and written very well at the same time.

Andrew Motion

Pretty much the day I stopped being laureate, the poems that had been few and far between came back to me, like birds in the evening nesting in a tree.

Andrew Motion

Thanks partly to the kind of poets that we now have and partly to funding, there’s been a gigantic shift in the way poetry is perceived… Poems on the Underground, poets in schools, football clubs, zoos.

Andrew Motion

I wanted to reimagine the role, in a way that was respectful of its traditional responsibilities but made them part of a wider pattern of poetry about national incidents, events, preoccupations; and to spend a great deal of time going to schools trying to demystify poetry.

Andrew Motion

I am a vigilant monarchist. I want to see things evolve. The direction the monarchy seems to be moving in – towards a more mainland-European model – is one I would feel sympathetic about.

Andrew Motion

The best public poems aren’t necessarily those that go at the subject like a bull at a gate.

Andrew Motion

I shall try to write a poem that is about the moment but doesn’t betray things that are true to me as a poet.

Andrew Motion

I like eating out. I like buying beautiful paintings and being surrounded by beautiful things. I have to finance that life. I can barely afford a pension scheme because I don’t make enough money.

Andrew Motion

Pretty much every weekend, my wife and I have the shall-we-live-in-the-country conversation. I suppose it’s something to do with getting older and feeling I want to shed some of the things I’ve been doing for the last 20 years and go back to my roots.

Andrew Motion

I am writing more than I have ever done. My life has come back to me in the most extraordinary way.

Andrew Motion

More people are reading poetry now than at any time in the history of the human race.

Andrew Motion

When Keats says: ‘Axioms in philosophy are not axioms until they are proved upon our pulses’, what he means is that we don’t necessarily believe what a poem is saying if it comes out and tells us in an absolutely head-on, in-your-face way; we only believe it to be true if we feel it to be true.

Andrew Motion

While also, importantly, not wanting to dumb it down or pretend the days of ‘difficult’ poetry are over, because we live in a pluralist culture and there’s room for ‘difficult’ poetry alongside rap and everything else. And poetry won’t be for everyone, but everyone should have the choice.

Andrew Motion