An exact poetic duplication of a man is for the poet a negation of the earth, an impossibility of being, even though his greatest desire is to speak to many men, to unite with them by means of harmonious verses about the truths of the mind or of things. Innocence is sometimes an acute quality which permits the greatest representation of the sensible. And the innocence of the poet’s friend, who requires, dialectically, that the first poetic rhythms have a logical form, will remain a fixed point of reference, a focus which will enable the poet to construct half of a parabola. The poet’s other readers are the ancient poets, who look upon the freshly written pages from an incorruptible distance. Their poetic forms are permanent, and it is difficult to create new forms which can approach them [...]
Poetry is also the physical self of the poet, and it is impossible to separate the poet from his poetry [...]
The poet is the sum total of the diverse “experiences” of the man of his times. His language is no longer that of the avant-garde, but is rather concrete in the classical sense [...] The poet’s language must be given its proper emphasis. It is neither the language of the Parnassians, nor that of the linguistic revolutionaries, particularly in countries where contamination by dialects only produces additional doubts and literary hieroglyphs. Indeed, philologists will never revive a written language. This is a right which belongs exclusively to the poet.
from ‘The Poet and the Politician’ (Quasimodo’s Nobel lecture), 1959
Poetry is the revelation of a feeling that the poet believes to be interior and personal [but] which the reader recognizes as his own.
from New York Times, 14 May 1960
I’m not sure I care too much about what he says.