Quote of the Day: FLORIDA

May 1, 2017


I just got back from the Florida Panhandle, near Pensacola, and to me it was something like poetry. On the one hand, the reality of the Arby’s and the parking lots and the tattoo parlors and the clam shacks. One hundred feet away, on the other hand, was the beach, the impossible sugar-white sand, and the turquoise, crystal-clear ocean. It was spring break and I know that, a block away, a sophomore named Nancy from Tallahassee was vomiting under a Ferris wheel, and some other kid named Todd was jumping off the balcony of his third-floor room into the hotel swimming pool, and the ambulance was already on its way, and the blue blue ocean was minding its own eternal business. That catches the coexistence of the sacred and profane, which makes the world and makes poetry too. That juxtaposition of beauty and ugliness, of the precious and the appalling, is really important to my poetry. It’s a description of the world, and, to me, also a description of human nature, of psychological reality.

–Tony Hoagland

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