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Norman Maccaig
 
Date of birth: 14 November 1910
Date of death: 23 January 1996
Country Of Origin: Scotland
Profession:

Poet

Biography:
   Norman MacCaig (14 November 1910 – 23 January 1996) was a Scottish poet. His work is known for its humour, simplicity of language and great popularity.

MacCaig was born in Edinburgh and divided his time, for the rest of his life, between his native city and Assynt in the Scottish Highlands. He was schooled at the Royal High School and studied classics at the University of Edinburgh. During World War II MacCaig registered as a conscientious objector a move that many .... (More...)
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Norman Maccaig quotes

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Norman Maccaig quotes
A lot of poets carry a wee notebook in their pockets to jot down ideas and lines and even a verse or two. I never do that.

Norman Maccaig
A terrible thing about getting oldish is that your friends start dying, and in the last ten years I have lost seven or eight of my closest.

Norman Maccaig
All I write about is what's happened to me and to people I know, and the better I know them, the more likely they are to be written about.

Norman Maccaig
All those authors there, most of whom of course I've never met. That's the poetry side, that's the prose side, that's the fishing and miscellaneous behind me. You get an affection for books that you've enjoyed.

Norman Maccaig
And also I'm not good at inventing things. And also I'm not good at inventing things. I couldn't invent a plot. I couldn't invent a character.

Norman Maccaig
And if they haven't got poetry in them, there's nothing you can do that will produce it.

Norman Maccaig
And in a way, that's been a help to me, because I take great passions for a particular poet - sometimes it lasts for many years, sometimes only for a while. This happens to everybody.

Norman Maccaig
And it's impossible for me to read Henry James.

Norman Maccaig
And some poets are far better read off the page because they're very bad speakers. I'm thinking of one in particular whom I won't name, a good poet, and he reads in such a dry, boring way, your eyes start drooping.

Norman Maccaig
And the second question, can poetry be taught? I didn't think so.

Norman Maccaig
Anybody who writes doesn't like to be misunderstood.

Norman Maccaig
But I couldn't write monologues in the voice of another person. Wouldn't want to. I feel it's intruding on the other person.

Norman Maccaig
But I hang on to books. I love them. I even think they're very nice decor in a room - far better than paintings... That's not quite true!

Norman Maccaig
But you'd have a job to find many of my poems which would seem to be very influenced by a particular person.

Norman Maccaig
However, I learned something. I thought that if the young person, the student, has poetry in him or her, to offer them help is like offering a propeller to a bird.

Norman Maccaig
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