"I hope you learn to write like you."
"At all times, keep your crap detector on."
"Don't start arguments. They are futile and take us away from our purpose. If you don't agree with me, don't listen. Think about something else."
"In a sense, the next thing always belongs. In the world of imagination, all things belong. If you take that on faith, you may be foolish, but foolish like a trout."
"Never worry about the reader. When you are writing, look over your shoulder and you'll find there is no reader. Just you and the page."
"If you feel pressure to say what you know others want to hear and you don't have enough devil in you to surprise them, shut up."
"Finish the poem first, then worry about being right or sane."
"Don't worry about morality. Most people who worry about morality ought to."
"To write a poem you must have a streak of arrogance--not in real life, I hope. In real life try to be nice. It will save you a hell of a lot of trouble and give you more time to write."
(Following one of his early poems) "I don't even understand that one anymore."
"I believe that it is only in periods when you can transcend your competitive instincts that you can write."
"What endures is your feelings about your work. You wouldn't trade your poems for anybody else's. To do that you would also have to trade your life for his, which means living a whole new complex of pain and joy. One of those per lifetime is enough."
"I've come to believe that one learns to write only by writing. Years ago in the comic strip 'Pogo,' a bear appeared, a creature who could write, but couldn't read. Granted the joke, I'm not sure anymore that the concept is that farfetched."
See you in the comments. Maybe something Richard Hugo said will trigger some conversation in our town today. :)